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

556 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 556
Hads: 2,516
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 16.21%
Wants: 138
Gots: 668 | 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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Reviews: 556 | Hads: 2,516
Photo of scotorum
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn flute

a: A gorgeous crystal clear amber with a finger thick white head which receded quickly to thin surface foam, some stringy lacing eventually appears. Not much carbonation evident.

s: Bourbon!

t: Bourbon! Dayum! Dry boozy finish.

m: Light to moderate. Lighter than the bourbon flavor wants you to believe. Much more carbonation evident on drinking than is visually evident.

o: Good for what it is. Think I still prefer beer that tastes more like beer, but it is a unique experience to have a beer that tastes like weak bourbon. Maybe this will grow on me though, I loved Innis & Gunn Rum Cask Aged beer from the gitgo and still enjoy it now and then. But unlike Innis & Gunn, I get the impression there is not much substance here beyond the bourbon flavor and aroma. Still, that flavor is seductive, so I'll probably buy more of this. (895 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.14/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After tackling a growler solo in my past review, it's time to slow things down a bit and consume 12oz. at a time, and appreciate.

Bottle pours a high clarity orange tone, with a small cap of white foam. Spotty bits of lace ring the tulip glass.

Oak, vanilla, sweet corn mash, and brown sugar in the nose. Becomes slightly funky as it warms.

A light bourbon taste, yet it touches on all my favorite aspects of this Kentucky-bred specialty. Woody oak, caramel sauce, buttery theater popcorn, a hint of coconut, with creamy vanilla bean in the long finish.

The thin, clean mouthfeel and refreshing nature of this ale deceptively mask it's alcohol content. Lacks body and complexity, but the bourbon flavor is good. Respect this beer, and it won't mess you up. Drinking a growler of this stuff made me feel like I had put down a pint of bourbon... (851 characters)

Photo of bnes09
4.14/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Caramel color and semi-transparent. White head forms then dissipates quickly leaving a ring around the glass and minimal lacing.

Rich aroma of oak, caramel, toffee and nuts. Complex, intricate and inspires curiosity.

Similar flavors in beginning and middle. Definitely a sweet tone with caramel and brown sugar. Some vanilla and mild bourbon notes. Fruity with cherries and apples adding to the sweetness. Finishes fairly clean with lingering bready malt flavor.

Surprising light feel, just barely medium bodied. Crisp, even carbonation. Exceptionally smooth texture.

I really like this. Highly complex and well balanced. (625 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.15/5  rDev +14%

Bourbon, light caramel and vanilla on the nose.
Pours brilliant orange amber with a thin rocky white foam cap. Light lace.
Starts with caramel malty sweetness followed by bourbon and vanilla and finished with a light touch of hop bitterness.
Medium body and carbonation, smooth. (280 characters)

Photo of Preismj
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is personal favorite of mine in terms of local brews. works well with guinness as a type of 'black and tan' which is, locally, called a 'black barrel'. I recommend the mix.

a: brown amber color with a mostly white head and hints of light brown.

s: a malty sweetness from the bourbon gets you first here with a caramel in the mix. toffee and a roasted scent catch you at the tail.

t: sweet from bourbon. the booze is present for sure, but such a nice finish to this beer. the caramel is strong in this along with a roasted and burnt taste of toffee.

m: Perfect carbonation and very smooth in the mouth.

d: I could have (and often do have) many of these in a row. It is a great beer that gets better as you have more. Once the booziness dies down, the taste of the caramel shines and tastes like a drink you've never had before.

I recommend taking an actual sip of bourbon before a sip of this stuff to get some of the booziness out of the way up front. While the heat is welcome, it is that taste of the caramel and toffee that keeps me coming back to this beer again and again. (1,095 characters)

Photo of jwhancher
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dad gave me a 4-pack after his b-day. Freshness day reads 10/15/14. Poured into a snifter for review.

Pours a clear copper with head that fades rather quickly to nothing. Some lazy carbonation persists. Smells of sweet bourbon with strong punch of vanilla and some light oak char. Some caramel malts, and and almost honely like quality, blend beautifully with the bourbon oak character.

Tastes bourbon-like upfront and throughout. Not over the top or too subtle. Just the right balance. Sweetness of malts again blend perfectly with the vanilla, oak, and light char. A little burn in the back of the throat, but alcohol is well in check at just over 8% ABV. No real hop character, but bitterness balances well and comes in at the end.

A well done beer. Drink this fresh for a nice bourbon beer experience. (811 characters)

Photo of johnnycakes
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My wife picked me up a 4-pack of this from the local grocery. (I live in Louisville, KY and our grocery stores are good about stocking local brews.)

I was not expecting a much because I am not a fan of Kentucky Ale's standard ale. However I was pleasantly surprised.

It poured with nearly no head.
The color is a beautiful amber-golden.

I've been reading these reviews that say it tastes too much like bourbon and I'm very confused. I was actually shocked at how un-bourbon tasting this ale is. I've had Bluegrass Brewing Co and Browning's each make a bourbon barrel stout that are wonderful and have a distinct bourbon taste. This ale does not.

The bourbon barrel aging of this ale has surprisingly given it a banana/vanilla flavor. Upon my first sip, I immediately thought of banana nut bread.

Overall, I think this is a great ale to be paired with the right food.
(Not exactly sure what that food would be - just think this would be a good ale to accompany a meal rather than to drink on its own) (1,020 characters)

Photo of ZBrewz
4.16/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

So, I've tried this beer twice now. Once before, and
once after reading through the "Beer Rating 101"
articles on Beer advocate. And I got to say, drinking
the beer right makes a difference.

I decided to listen to beer advocate's advice and drink
my beer warmer than I normally would (especially since
this beer in particular has a higher alcohol content.) I
noticed that though the sharp alcohol taste was still
there, it seemed to lessen as it became warmer and the
undertones of the grains used in the beer came through
resulting in an enhanced experience of the flavors of
the ale.

Look: 4.0 It wasn't "crystal clear". It did have some
yeast/sediment floating around in it, but nothing to
really be concerned about. I felt it gave it authenticity. The color ranged from an amber color outside of direct light (dark, but not very), to a more golden amber when
held closer to a light. I poured it kind of hard so it was a
little extra foamy than it should've been, but the head retention seemed
great. It didn't go flat and I drank it slower than I
normally would.

Smell: 3.5 Really strong Bourbon smell, with a hint of
some malts.

Taste: 4.3 As I said, the taste evolves as it warms up.
The colder it is the more the bourbon-like alcohol
taste comes out, but as it warms up a creamy smooth
wheat-like taste starts to envelope if you let it sit
on your palate. (I'm not saying the bourbon taste isn't
still there, it's just less defined when the other flavors of
the beer come out.) Definitely a must try if can handle
higher ABV beers.

feel: 4.6 A little unpleasant if it's too cold, but
gets to be a smooth, creamy-like, bubble feel once it
warms up. It really complements the taste and leaves a
nice feeling on your taste buds.... Delicious.

overall = 4.51 If you can't handle a strong beer (or
don't like the taste of bourbon) than this might not be
for you. But, if you don't fall under either of those
categories and are up to try something new, then this
is a pretty good beer to try. (Just don't drink all
four at once. ;-) haha)

P.S. Drink it warmer and slower than you normally would. (2,138 characters)

Photo of alkemy
4.16/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a clear light amber with only about a finger of head and minimal lacing. The aroma is strong with bourbon. That may be a bad choice of words. By strong, I mean it's the dominant scent. Overall the aroma is not terribly strong. I'm a fan of this because I really don't want to be overpowered with bourbon. There's also wood and vanilla. The taste begins with a bourbon and vanilla note. There's some caramel malts, but the bourbon and vanilla reappear and linger after each drink. It's in this malty middle that an actual "beer" taste is most present. This is incredibly smooth and easy to drink. Alcohol is completely muted. I was shocked that 8.19% was listed on the bottle. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it works well for this style. I'd gladly have this one again. (777 characters)

Photo of E-McFarden
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours pale amber in color, crystal clear. First scents at a distance bring sweet oaky vanilla certainly reminding me of bourbon, then comes the hops and caramel malts. The taste is well balanced and brings the drinker just the right amount of oaky bourbon flavors to balance the malt profile. The alcohol is surprisingly not overpowering considering the subtle flavors. Finishes smooth and dry. I'm surprised this beer isn't getting higher ratings, I would definitely say that if you're drinking this one right out of the fridge you're missing out on the nice flavors and aromas. I like it. (590 characters)

Photo of Greggy
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a large snifter leaving a quick 1 finger head that recedes quickly into a thin cap with decent lacing. No sediment present in the golden amber body.

S- Big waft of bourbon as well as what i perceive to be scotch. There is a definite caramel, vanilla, butterscotch and light baking chocolate that is reminiscent of scotch ale. Digging deeper I catch some darker fruits like figs and even a touch plum.

T- starts off with a nice light bourbon taste that is a little oaky and dry on the finish which is nice. I get notes of light butteriness (oak), a touch of vanilla, and just a hint of butterscotch.

M- Just a hint of light carbonation which is nice for an oak aged beer. The mouthfeel is quite dry and oaky which is nice.

D- This beer hides its 7% with ease; however, I think this beer got most of its character form the barrel. I would have liked to see a bit more complexity of bourbon and maybe a little more smokiness. If you can get it, definitely try it. It's not the greatest oak aged beer, but I will definitely enjoy the rest of mine. (1,066 characters)

Photo of atsprings
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper with almost no head. Aroma is a nice blend of burnt caramel, Bourbon, oak and some vanilla. The taste is a great blend of Bourbon, caramel and vanilla. The slight oak flavor adds a nice touch. This is a great beer for someone who also likes Bourbon, good taste of both worlds. The beer is light bodied with good warming undertoned alcohol. This is a very enjoyable beer. (390 characters)

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Hoegaarden glass.

Appearance - Pours a good amber color. frothy head that sticks around for a bit. good carbonation. no lacing

Smell - Strong hop right away followed by butter and whiskey notes.

Taste - A good comibination of hops and whiskey. Slightly grainy and small notes of butter. Light body

Mouthfeel - All of the flavors mix well, and the whiskey notes stick around with the grain flavor. I really like this beer! (452 characters)

Photo of ACD
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great overall after dinner sipping beer. I have had this on tap at Bison County in Waltham Ma (great Barbeque). And out of the bottle.

In both cases it seems best served in a sniffer type glass and to let sit. It taste better a little on the warm side

A smell of bourbon at the beginning

Mouthfeel is smooth with a bourbon like kick.

Overall and excellent after dinner beer if you are looking for only one or two and to leisurely sip it. (443 characters)

Photo of KeefD
4.19/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Bright amber orange with no head, but plenty of carbonation. Big hints of bourbon soaked fruit on the nose. Hints of vanilla and spice. Taste is wonderful. Definite hints of bourbon, backed up by some sweet malt, some vanilla undertones, and a not-too-cloying fruit sweetness. Hints of caramel are present. This beer is a bourbon lover's dream. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but it's perfect for the style. Not too much carbonation to get in the way of the body, which would have made it a bit too crisp. A very nice Kentucky Koncoction.

Go BIG BLUE!! (588 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
4.19/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1473rd Review on BA
Bottle to Great Lakes Snifter
12oz

2012 Vintage

Thanks to EgadBananas for the trade

App- Was really suprised at the coloring of this beer. Was more of a golden color and was expecting a deeper brown/crimson color. The head was a quick receding off white with maybe 2 dots of cling.

Smell- Incredible bourbon notes. Char, vanilla, oak and malts. The beer is as close to pure bourbon I have smelled on a -BA beer before. Floral and pleasant to say the least.

Taste- It's a very tasty beer. Lots going on but blended well. Malty and smooth with a rich vanilla flavor and a little bit of oak on the back end. Not overly boozy but you get a lot of the bourbon notes to it.

Mouth- A thinner medium body with a low/medium carbonation. Residual spicey boozey flavor with hints of vanilla.

Drink- A good beer. Very barrel and booze forward. I really enjoyed it. I bet this would be a good one for aging. (921 characters)

Photo of stewart124
4.19/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light amber color with a thick white head. Carbonation sounds and looks to be high.

Deep smells of bourbon for sure. Sweet hints of grape and caramel malts. Slight floral notes.

Toasted bready notes in the flavor blend very well with this beer. Nice malty flavor overall. Toffee and vanilla are hidden in this beer. Big complexity that I would not have guess. Body seems medium to big.

Aftertaste is thick with more vanilla, oak, and a slight smoked chewy feeling. Alcohol is hidden fairly well but I'm sure I'd have to limit my intake of these.

(551 characters)

Photo of Bierlerner
4.19/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle and into a KBBA snifter

A- pours a very crisp, clear golden caramel color. A bright white head of 1 finger bubbles up fast and then almost as fast clears away. From appearance it looks a bit thin. When drinking, little splotches of lacing are left behind.

S- nice and light bourbon aroma. Faint hints of oak. Butter.

T- At first sip, it tasted of a watered down bourbon. But once warmed and sipped more, it blossomed into much more balance. Bourbon, oak, a hint of lemon peel. And a very pleasant creamy caramel and butterscotch through out as well. Not very complex, but very pleasant and very well balanced.

M- my one complaint, the mouthfeel is a bit thin. Could use some more body and perhaps more carbonation.

O- overall a fantastic after dinner nightcap, which is why I'm looking past the light body. Would stock in reserve lol (862 characters)

Photo of Crass3000
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice orange color with a finger, white head with decent retention.

Smell is vanilla, some chocolate, and a little dark matls. Really melds together nicely. The taste is really nice vanilla, a little hops in the background, and maybe a tiny bit of booze. But just a really nice beer. This is my second time having it and it seems just as goo dor better this time. Highly recommend it. (396 characters)

Photo of nicholas2121
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale brewed by, Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. This ale has an ABV of 8.19% The ale pours out a nice deep amber color with a nice smell off white head. You smell rich bourbon, grains and malts in the smell of this brew. Now for the taste , it is full of flavor, with grains and malts. You get a nice bourbon, taste in this brew. There is a lot going on this brew, but it has a nice balance to it. Nothing overpowering in this brew. Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co., did a nice job with this one. The mouthfeel is full bodied , smooth and rich. You really don't pick up on 8.19% ABV in this brew. Overall I'm giving this brew a 4 out of 5. I would buy this brew again. (730 characters)

Photo of KELPAK
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A real nice beer to sit back and sip on amongst friends or watching a game. Has a real likeness to drinking a tumbler of bourbon which can be a great thing for some people but for me it was a little much.

Taste is on the sweet side but it is an enjoyable beer for the bourbon barrell enthusiest which there are a great deal of in my area. (339 characters)

Photo of crashdavisinoh
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Dark Amber...redish...no head

S-Sweetness, bourbon, malts, caramel

T-Bourbon...very smooth...love the way this tastes...the bourbon is the star but the supporting cast is not completely overshadowed. Sweet flavors...caramel, vanilla, hint of chocolate perhaps.

M-Low carbonation...feel the bourbon...smooth

D-I love this beer...it is one of my standard off the shelf favorites (if not favorite)...they ABV will catch up to you but I have no problem drinking mulitples. (475 characters)

Photo of mdr4669
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App: Rich honey gold color with minimal foamy white head. Tons of tiny bubble float from the bottom up to the surface, with patchy lacing.

Smell: The scent is dominated by the sweet caramel and vanilla characteristic of a good bourbon.

Taste: The taste follows the scent, the strongest characteristic is the taste of bourbon. I also notice a nice hint of vanilla a bit of some caramel as well.

MF: Very light and easy going with a warm after taste, and a nice kick for the finale.

Overall: A well crafted ale with all the bark, and bite I was looking for. I will definitely have this beer again. (601 characters)

Photo of mikeyv35
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Date: 06/17/2010
Type: 12oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2010
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

*First off, I would like to thank Kevin(BEERchitect) for hooking me up w/ this brew and giving me the opportunity to sample it.

Poured a golden straw color w/ light red hues and a 1/4 finger white bubbly head, that left a decent amount of lacing on the glass. Nose was of light whiskey, oak, vanilla, and maybe a touch of brown sugar. Almost smells like a very light Jack or Beam and coke. The taste was of oak, vanilla, and subtle bourbon whiskey that gives you enough for you to know it's there, but does not overwhelm. The mouthfeel is thin and crisp, but adequate as it brings more bourbon notes from the barrel aging forward. Drinkability? I could drink this all night, actually I am going to put another 12ozer in the fridge as we speak.

Kevin, I hope you don't mind trading me some more of this brew next week, because I am sure the 6-pack is not going to last long! Do seek this brew out if you enjoy whiskey BAing that is very mild and makes for an extremely drinkable brew. (1,064 characters)

Photo of beerman207
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw a single of this at Jungle Jims in fairfield, oh so I decided to give it a whirl. Always see it as a 4 pack and wasn't that committed.

A: pour results in a fluffy white head that disappears quickly. Beer is light brown and very clear - lots of bubbles going on in the brew

S: Wow - vanilla, bourbon, sweet malt, wasn't expecting this much in the nose - good

T: bourbon, vanilla, oak, even coconut? Wow, this is a good beer imo. Not bad for Lexington Brewing!

M: Mild carbonation - easy to drink

D: All night. Even at 8% this is a good beer for a small session. (569 characters)

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 556 ratings.