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

Not Rated.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

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

2,126 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,126
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 18.53%
Wants: 99
Gots: 355 | FT: 5
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,126 | Reviews: 515 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBullsHorn
3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This beer has all of the typical characteristics of an English Strong Ale without any depth at all. It's fairly true to the style with a strong malty backbone,booziness, and light English hops. It fails to deliver any depth and and is fairly one note especially for a beer aged in bourbon barrels.

TheBullsHorn, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of Ragingbull
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Copper color with no head and moderate prickle. Heavy bourbon nose. The attack is pretty smooth. The bourbon presents itself about halfway through the sip/flavor. Once the bourbon strikes it really dominates the flavor. That being said, the beer finishes surprisingly clean. The mouthfeel is heavy and malty. This is much better than other liquour infused/liquour styled beers that I have had, but it isn't stellar. I love bourbon and I love beer, but mixing the two together I am thinking might not be my style. I might be to much of a traditionalist. I am glad to have tried it however.

Ragingbull, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of JunkYardJake
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into tulip.
Pours amber in color with a small head. Smells very much of bourbon as the barrel aging really took to the brew. A little vanilla in the nose as well. Taste follows the nose with the vanilla coming out a little more but still very much a hot bourbon palate. The bourbon imparts a raw licorice and raisin taste. Mouthfeel is creamy and coats the mouth and throat. Not my favorite but I'm glad I had a chance to try it..

JunkYardJake, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of memphischas
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%

memphischas, Oct 01, 2014
Photo of icefisherman
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

well thanks go out ot greggy for this one it looks like beer great beer smells to me like a cheap chardony wine yuk! but taste like some one poored in a half shot of jim beam with like some medioker mild/amber but all in all not the worst i have had but kinda un impressive

icefisherman, Sep 26, 2008
Photo of Lothore
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a golden color with creamy, off white head.

S- The nose has lots of bourbon and wispy bready notes but seems thin and one dimensional.

T- Light bread, vanilla, some bourbon but it's all pretty faint.

M- Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

D- This brew wasn't extremely interesting to me and seemed like one that didn't benefit too much from barrel aging.

Lothore, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of GoldHorde
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I favor my memories of bourbon - hey, even the lost ones! I am favoring this new craft of using old bourbon casks/barrels to enhance beers. Usually this crafty enhancement is pronounced on the sturdy styles of beers: stouts and porters. This particular one is applied on a what could be categorized as a Brown or Belgian Ale style. The amber color predicts nothing of it's flavor. Someone mentioned vanilla - oh yeah - like a VANILLA WOMP. It is predicted in the aroma BUT it kicks you with a BIG Li'l Abner vanilla boot. The flavor is WAY TOO unusualy present in the beer to be ignored as a character when it is too busy banging you over the head with a mallet. It is like when you have a restaurant chain franchise meal and notice a preservative flavor that reminds you it isn't real food. The vanilla masks any memory of bourbon. IF YOU LIKE vanilla Coke - THIS is the beer for you. The beer is just TOO vanilla for me.

GoldHorde, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of Chiflyer
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%

Chiflyer, Oct 24, 2014
Photo of RhinoBrew
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%

RhinoBrew, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of jwhawkins81
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aroma - Vanilla, wood, and a hint of sweet fruit

Appearance - Poured a big light tan head that dissipated to just a thin film and collar. The beer was a very light golden yellow.

Taste - Almost the same as the nose. Slightly buttery flavor surrounded by sweetness with a hop bite at the end.

Notes - This seems to pale in comparison to the draft versions I've had before. The draft versions I remember are full of buttery smooth flavors while this seems a watery dull version of that. I hope this was just a bad bottle or batch.

jwhawkins81, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of cvm4
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear amber in color with a thin, one finger head that dissipates quickly.

S - Predominantly bourbon with sweet vanilla malts backing it up.

T - Sweet oak and vanilla. I hate to say it, but cheap or watered down bourbon is pretty much how I see it.

M - Thin, but then again it is an ale. Low carbonation as well.

O - It was nice to try. I won't buy again simply because it blurs the lines, if I wanted watered down bourbon then I'd reach for something on the low shelf, not high shelf.

cvm4, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of litheum94
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. August 18, 2011 stamped on the bottle. I can only assume this is a best by date, which seems a little odd for a barrel aged beer.

P: Clear amber body. Dirty white head, one finger thick. Settles down to a patchy cover with large bubbles.

A: Jack Daniel's whiskey aromas. Toffee and sweet taffy. Burnt caramel. Oak. Spicy hops. There's an almost artificial aroma. Buttered popcorn?

T: Vanilla, oak and bourbon flavors. The bourbon is a little hot, giving the impression that the barrels weren't of the highest quality. Some buttery malts. Cola flavors on the finish. No hop profile.

I vacillated between liking this beer and loathing it. It has some nice flavors, but the bourbon portion of it just tasted artificial and cheap. It was an interesting style to barrel age, and I have one more bottle, so my opinion may change. But at this point, I'm not overly impressed.

litheum94, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of IcarusComplex
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Alright, I need to get back to reviewing before I start to lose the vocabulary for it...I haven't posted my 300+ beer journal notes to the site yet(which I stopped taking, being well past 800 tastings now), and I've never had a laptop on hand at the exact moment I'm tasting a brew. First time for everything right? So here we go: Tasted at Riverside Market Cafe in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. From bottle to Guinness-style pint glass.

Appearance: Even an aggressive pour fails to produce any head, just spatterings of fine white mist, with a constant outer ring that displays subdued, champagne-like activity. Visible carbonation remains steady and slow along glass's edges, none at the center of the brew. Absolutely no lacing, but almost displays legs if stirred, though it lacks the colour to make it prominent. The colour is actually quite nice, a highly refined clarity with a brilliant gold as its base that picks up lively orange and deeper, woodier amber shades in varying light.

Scent: A bit lacking, for what was expected. Grows with warming, but not significantly enough; it makes you hunt hard for every note. White bread and caramel malts, alcohol, sweet cream corn, oaky vanilla notes, fizzy watery lager scent is too prominent, and there is a long last bit of boozy esters, almost more brandy-like than bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Pretty decent. Light to-medium, perhaps leaning more into medium with warming. Some slight viscosity, just enough to coat the tongue, and a small amount of creaminess along the tongue's edges and mouth's roof. Carbonation feels lazy and lifeless, however. Has the rare character of actually dimishing in mouthfeel as it warms, rather than gaining richness. Very strange.

Flavour: Okay, this department is a bit of a mess, but a mess with major potential. Unfortunately, as of current this beer is wholly dominated by a decadent and entirely unrepeatable buttercream taste. Buttercream and sweet cream of corn, and artificial tasting, Mexican-brand vanilla extract, a high fructose corn syrup backing, mountain-region American lager taste, mediocre amber ale notes....really, corn and sugars are all over the place. I would guess this beer contains a significant amount of corn grit in the mash, alongside being aged in bourbon barrels that previously contained a tipple that was highly corn-heavy. Also, not sure what kind of char those barrels boasted, but I'm guessing it wasn't too dark, because this has none of the desired, earthy wood edge to its taste that you would look for in bourbons of bold character. Just this light-toasted vanilla aspect that feels forcibly inserted. Almost no boozy bite though. The diacetyl-like, heavy butter essence ensures that, but in the most vulgar of ways. It's a shame, too, because in controlled amounts all of these flavour elements could be highly desireable. The finish is longer than you'd like it to be, and continues on a cream and sugar note rather than anything involving hops, dryness or booze.

Overall: This is an okay beer to give a spin if you're a bourbon nut or an oak-aging nut, BUT with a caveat: try it knowing it is an extreme example of results of the style, and expect that you may not enjoy it enough to finish it. If you go in with that expectation, and find it at a fair price, you can forgive yourself for the possible drainpour and still feel like you overall benefited from the experience. It has certainly expanded my understanding of what bourbon aging can do to a beer. I just won't likely be having it again, unless it's with rosemary rotisserie chicken and mash. With the right food this could actually complement quite well. Hell, this may even be a fun craft brew to go full-taboo with and drop a shot of woody, smoky, harsh bourbon in to balance the flavour and imbalance your sobriety. However you try it, do it responsibly! Cheers!

IcarusComplex, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of bpkrippner
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%

bpkrippner, Oct 03, 2014
Photo of Lech222
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%

Lech222, Nov 04, 2014
Photo of dnoahg
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I find this brew to be exceedingly average. It is not much different than a lot of the sweet beers I've tried, but with only the hint of the Bourbon to differentiate it. There was no sparkle from the carbonation, or noticeable bitterness.

First, it pours a nice amber color, with a small head that rapidly disappeared (used a 16 oz. tulip glass). There was little to no lacing. You could detect the Bourbon smell, but it wasn't overpowering, and after a while it was barely noticeable.

The taste was sweet....something. I don't know what exactly. I didn't taste vanilla, maybe it was caramel, but it didn't strike me that way. It was drinkable. Not cloying, but not very exciting.

dnoahg, May 24, 2013
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 8.19% ABV, no date.

Thanks to Wisconsinality for breaking this out for his Kentucky tasting!

A - Pours out a clear golden light bronze color with a thin ring of bone foam. The color is great but the lack of any head is disappointing.

S - Pure oak bourbon aroma. Nothing else is really going on. The malts and hops are absent in aroma. A bit of cold refrigerator that's reminiscent of Sam's Club (no kidding) appears on the back end. Good oak and bourbon that's not too boozy/alcohol rich in aroma but definitely needs more malts in the back.

T - Oaky wood and straight bourbon flavor. No malts, no hops, just straight bourbon flavor. Interesting thing is it's not boozy alcohol at all. The bourbon barrel level is great...if there would be more complimentary flavors going on.

M - Thin and light-medium-bodied with a smooth and fairly crisp texture. Decent finish on it with out any hot alcohol.

D - The thin feeling texture and flavor give it easy drinkability but the bourbon becomes a little much towards the end with out any malts. Serious work is needed on this one.

BeerFMAndy, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of Bierguy5
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle. Pours a very clear light copper/golden color. Thin white foamy head disappears very quickly. Big oak, bourbon and vanilla aroma in the nose. This is far different from other bourbon barrel beers I have had. The flavor of the base beer is very light. Not much malt or hop flavor comes through. What is left seems to be a bit of watery bourbon. Some oaky flavor as well, but this seems really light. Light body, low carbonation. A little warming and boozy. I am not sure if I liked this or not, the nose really had me sold, but I don't know if the base beer worked for me. I like the spirit of trying to barrel age a different style rather than imperial stout, etc. Probably worth a shot.

Bierguy5, Nov 14, 2006
Photo of Schmuckles
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Has nice color and decent aroma. Sweet with lots of bourbon flavor. I didn't like at first but got better with cheese curls which blended nicely with the flavor or at least muted what i didn't like. Bourbon flavor to strong for me as well as a bit to sweet.

Schmuckles, Jul 29, 2012
Photo of Hoptometrist
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into a snifter for the Winking Lizard's Glass of the Month

A- Poured a clear light amber color with very creamy head that left tons of chunky lace

S- Smells like bourbon and booze. Pretty powerful aroma

T- This tastes like drinking bourbon. Not picking up on much else, light vanilla notes. Strong alcohol presence.

M- Fuller bodied but not syrupy. Pretty high carbonation for what I was expecting. Strong alcohol presence and warming.

O- The bourbon flavors overwhelm this beer. A strong base beer would have helped balance out the bourbon, bourbon aged stouts seem to fare better than this bourbon aged pale ale/irish red. Not bad, but tastes just like bourbon. If you really like bourbon flavors this might be an easier drinking alternative to drinking it straight.

Hoptometrist, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of busterwhite
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden color with a one finger head. A little bit of lacing on the glass.

Nose is straight vanilla.

Tastes is sweet, sweet vanilla and bourbon. No real hop flavor.

Light on carbonation but nice and creamy.

Overall its a little sweet for me. A definite sipper full of vanilla and bourbon.

busterwhite, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of MikeC144
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

MikeC144, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of csmartin6
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

csmartin6, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of LiquorsInc
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

LiquorsInc, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of bexley10
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

bexley10, May 23, 2013
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,126 ratings.