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

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

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

1,585 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1585
Reviews: 479
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 17.98%


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)
View: Beers (14) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 1,585 | Reviews: 479 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ckollias
ckollias

Maryland

3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed this 12 oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a copper hue with a thin white head that quickly dissipates leaving no trail and semi wispy lace.

S: Sweet malty aroma with a bourbon alcoholic scent.

T: Smooth malty flavor with a sweet profile with hints bourbons that finishes on the sweet side of dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Decent brew – was expecting a little bit more.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 01:29:59 | More by ckollias
Photo of scotorum
scotorum

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2013 05:27:20 | More by scotorum
Photo of Omnium
Omnium

Pennsylvania

3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours out a darker gold color, very clear, one finger of head that fades fast, no lacing at all.
S - Very light aroma here, you get some of the bourbon, but its very subdued, a little vanilla bean, toasted caramel, toffee, a slight hint of cinnamon. Where's the bourbon?
T - You get some bourbon mixed with that caramel malt and thats the standard for most of the flavor here, a little spice, very sweet on the end, almost like some dried fruits or a spritzer kinda taste. The end is almost tart like some lemon.
M - Somewhat crisp, not really sweet or boozy despite being bourbon, but there is a slight alcohol burn.
O - Not super, not bad, somewhere in between, but the idea of this ale is greater than what it actually is, which is unfortunate.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2013 00:35:08 | More by Omnium
Photo of Radome
Radome

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a goblet.

A - Deep gold or light copper color, some brown shades, but not amber. Extremely clear. Head is very thin and essentially just a light ring around the edges and a tiny cloud in the center of the surface. The head color is off-white.

S - Aroma is surprisingly faint. The strongest note is bourbon whisky, with its vanilla and sweet cinnamon aromas. There is very little malt or hops that come through. No yeast notes. Alcohol comes through with the whiskey.

T - The taste is all about bourbon whisky. The base beer style is indecipherable because no hops or malt are evident. The bourbon flavor is good, but the overall taste is un-beer-like. No yeast or alcohol flavors.

M - Thin body; low carbonation, although there is a bit of creaminess. Low alcohol burn. No hops bitterness is evident, but beer does not seem overly sweet.

O - Beer is overly thin and overly bourbon-like, without any beer backbone to hold it up.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 03:03:13 | More by Radome
Photo of WillCarrera
WillCarrera

Ohio

3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, no bottled-on date, poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours brown with a rapidly-receding tan head, leaves minimal lacing.

S- Lots of malt and sugars but not much bourbon. Definitely getting caramel, vanilla, maybe some gingerbread / sugar cookie.

T- Similar to the aroma, lots of caramel, vanilla, sugar cookie, mild bourbon.

M- Medium-bodied, a bit thin for its ABV, moderate carbonation.

O- Pretty meh for something that's been in a bourbon barrel. I was just expecting more flavor, but the base beer is too thin and bland to really hold up against or complement a more substantial bourbon flavor.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2013 23:31:39 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

Rhode Island

3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 8/22/13

Appearance: Pours unexpectedly crystal clear, bright orange with some honey and copper - small, white head, fades to few small wisps of a cap, leaves a few spots and streaks of lacing

Smell: Caramel malts, vanilla, and bourbon - lightly toasted caramel malts, and crystal malts - some caramel and brown sugar sweetness, with some vanilla - some wood - definitely some bourbon aromas, and they are weird (not in a bad way) - very mild and gentle bourbon

Taste: Caramel malts with an undercurrent of mild, remarkably mellow bourbon - pale and caramel malts - lightly bready, with some interesting buttery esters (English yeast?) - basically, toasted bread with butter, caramel, and vanilla (part of your complete breakfast) - oak and very smooth, very mild bourbon - more like bourbon flavor than straight-up bourbon, I'm guessing this was not aged very long

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, nicely carbonated, nice finish

Overall: "I know what I hate... and I don't hate this"

I am pleasantly surprised that is isn't a hot mess. I've been more or less disenchanted with bourbon-barrel aged beers over the last year, and I really just bought this out of mild curiosity. The base beer is pretty mild, but so is the barrel aging. This is far from a big, burly barrel-aged stout, and I'm sure that's why some would scorn at this. But I think it's worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2013 05:54:46 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of SassieCassie
SassieCassie

Florida

2.68/5  rDev -27%
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

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2013 21:09:57 | More by SassieCassie
Photo of mikefuski17
mikefuski17

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this beer about 3 years ago and couldn't remember what it was called so I looked it up. The beer itself was really good and has a nice strong flavor. The color was rich and smelled great. I am not much of a whiskey can but I really enjoyed the beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2013 17:09:28 | More by mikefuski17
Photo of RedlinerScott
RedlinerScott

Ohio

4.46/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First had KBBA on tap at the wedding rehearsal dinner of my daughter and son-in-law three years ago. Only recently realized it's marketed in bottles as well. Pretty strong bourbony aroma and flavor with a kick from a higher alcohol content. Despite it's boldness KBBA goes down pretty smooth with no noticeable aftertaste. I've got a feeling you either really like this sort of thing or you really don't. Count me in!

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2013 02:50:36 | More by RedlinerScott
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger

Pennsylvania

2.48/5  rDev -32.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2013 23:09:59 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of Tonmeister
Tonmeister

Georgia

2.71/5  rDev -26.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2013 20:59:10 | More by Tonmeister
Photo of einman
einman

Minnesota

3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I really liked this beer. My brothers and I stopped in KY and randomly picked a store near Lafayette on our way back home to MN from a GA drive. I grabbed this and a few other things in my search for local brews I can't get back home. The smell is great and I really like the mild cocoa smoothness in this.
Completely random buy and completely satisfied.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2013 23:54:29 | More by einman
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pour is clear orange with reddish hues and a creamy bubbly off white head. Nose is interesting, heavy bourbon with strong vanilla notes and wood undertones. Off chocolate malt notes and some charred barrel in back. Taste is heavy wooded bourbon and chocolate malt. Fair amount of vanilla behind the flavors but finish is a bit empty. Thinned out body in back with strong carbonation making an odd combo. Fair amount of running alcohol in the finish but somehow not hot. Very different beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 17:43:17 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of maximthegreat
maximthegreat

Illinois

3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured 12oz bottle into a snifter.

Poured a light golden color. A little head.

Smells are mostly bourbon. Slight caramel coming through on the nose also.

Lots of heat from the bourbon and not much else honestly. There is a slight sweetness, but not enough to balance the bourbon.

Good carbonation, but felt a little watery and thin.

Overall, not a beer I would buy again. Nothing offensive, but nothing that makes it interesting either. Plenty of better beers on the shelves.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 01:41:31 | More by maximthegreat
Photo of rypkr
rypkr

Pennsylvania

3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I normally only rate the beers I've had and do not write full reviews, but this one was too unique to not log.

Picked out 12 random beers from a local shop to be tried at home. This one was about 20% more expensive than most others but I wasn't sure why. Before trying I looked over the bottle for perhaps an extremely high abv or maybe even a rarer brewery (wasn't even sure who it was made by) but found little information on it.

appearance - medium amber. Cloudier upon first pouring but settled pretty clear. Very frothy and white head. Let settle before finishing pour.

Smell - my thoughts literally went caramel! No butterscotch! No wait toffee! Still not sure which specific aroma it is that's so dominant but its something sweet.

Taste - this is where my evaluation went whoa. Did I just drink a carbonated, low ABV whiskey? It's sweet and smooth, much more so than any Bourbon I'd ever sipped (but not a liquor drinker by any stretch) all the while being entwined in fizzy frenzy of carbonation. Warm alcohol expels briefly after each sip like an exhale after whiskey itself.

Mouth feel - has a soft creaminess to it. Medium to maybe slightly over medium carbonation.

Overall - truly unique. Had (whiskey/bourbon) barrel aged beers before but never one that picked up this much whiskey flavor. Certainly worth trying but couldn't see myself regularly sipping on this one when reaching for a beer. Would go well on a cold night in the mountains around a hunting camp fire.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 23:48:15 | More by rypkr
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head which fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lace.

Smell: A very whiskey forward and fairly sweet malty aroma. Big barrel presence with hints of bourbon whiskey, wood, oak chips, and vanilla. Toasted malts with hints of sweet caramel, toffee, yeast, grains, and biscuit. Also some sweet hints of molasses and brown sugar. Hop presence is very light. A little scent of booze. Aroma is pretty much bourbon and caramel malt. Decent.

Taste: Like it smells, very barrel forward with with sweet notes of caramel malt. Barrel notes of bourbon whiskey, oak chips, wood, and vanilla upfront. Toasty malts with sweet notes of caramel, toffee, grain, yeast, and biscuit. Some molasses and brown sugar add to the sweetness. Very little in the way of hops. Sweet but smooth and not syrupy. Decent bourbon taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, smooth, and slightly slick. Alcohol presence is pretty smooth for a barrel aged beer.

Overall: A decent barrel aged brew. Good smooth whiskey taste. The base beer could of had some more substance but it went well with the barrel.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2013 06:50:34 | More by MattyG85
Photo of gcamparone
gcamparone

Rhode Island

3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A-Pours a clear golden amber body with a medium 2 finger fizzy white head that reduces fairly quickly to leave spotty lacing.

S- Lots of whiskey, not much beer. Smells like a glass of whiskey on the rocks without the alcohol. Caramel and vanilla. There's a metallic aroma too.

T- A little nicer than the aroma but still very one-dimensional. Sweet caramel, butterscotch, french vanilla. Definitely get whiskey and maybe some bready malt in the aftertaste.

M- Medium body, medium-high carbonation. Pretty drinkable for the abv.

Overall a decent beer. Pros: it's drinkable, pretty flavorful, and definitely has a heavy bourbon character. Cons: One-dimensional and a little too bourbon forward.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 00:53:11 | More by gcamparone
Photo of CloudStrife
CloudStrife

New York

3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 07/17/13 on the neck.

A: Pours a clear golden with a 1 finger mostly white head. A bit of visible carbonation. Leaves some spots of lacing.

S: Bourbon and malt notes right off the bat. A sweetness to it, hints of vanilla and oak.

T: Reminds me of a more mainstream beer with a healthy dose of bourbon. Doesnt blow you away with the complexity yet is a good flavor.

M: Light to medium body with lowish carbonation. A touch of stickiness but not too bad. Seems a touch watery.

Overall its not offensive and would be a good intro to bourbon barrel beers. Give it a go if you can pickup a single.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 00:35:13 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of dnoahg
dnoahg

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2013 03:24:50 | More by dnoahg
Photo of MistahBeah
MistahBeah

Massachusetts

3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear honey. Little carbonation. Small head. No lace. Not much else to speak of

Smell: Sweet bourbon. Some oaky vanilla. Molasses as it gets a bit warmer

Taste: Definitely bourbon. Tastes similar to an innis & gunn. Some oak. None of the sweeter aromas come out in flavor other than the bourbon but its nice

Mouthfeel: Very light. A little crisp but smooth. A little boozy sting as it warms but its still pretty well hidden. Not bad

Overall: A nice package overall. Really nice flavor but not terribly complex - not that it claims or needs to be. I would get it again

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2013 02:55:37 | More by MistahBeah
Photo of Broman
Broman

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Copper red tint under a minuscule head that disappears almost immediately to nothing. Fairly transparent but inviting.

Smell- Mostly sweet bourbon on the nose. Other less obvious undertones are noted. Aggressive smell lets you know what this beer is about. Not overpowering but up front and inviting. Combined with the visual a very inviting beer.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation sting is the first note. Light body on the palet. The carbonation sting gives way to a distinct alcohol flavor.

Taste- Up front are malts and bourbon. There is a sweet hint as if brown sugar. The high alcohol content is apparent in the aftertaste. Overall not exceptionally complex but a very tasty beer.

Overall- Great beer. Definate try. I wouldn't advise consuming many due to the alcohol content. Not a beer for a new beer drinker, but one that could sway some to the light of good beer choices.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2013 05:05:00 | More by Broman
Photo of bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Light amber hue. Pours about a 1 finger, foamy, white head. Lots of effervescence. Settles quickly. Very slight, spotty lacing.

S: Woody malt, caramel, and bourbon.

T: Bitter pecan shells and licorice. Malty with a light buttery sweetness, and a light bourbon treatment.

M: Something of a 'thick' feel. Full and hearty in the front, dry bitter finish.

D: Sip and savor.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Nice hue, and a solid head, but no real lacing. Nose is a woody and buttery with a distinct bourbon smell. Flavor is bitter from the bourbon treatment balanced with a hearty malt and buttery sweetness. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 00:22:29 | More by bmwats
Photo of breakingbland
breakingbland

Michigan

3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A beautiful clear golden. The head had dissipated by the time the glass reached the table.

Aroma:Hoppy with some malt. Not a strong aroma.

Taste: Considerable malty sweetness. The maltiness has an odd tasting component -- maybe bubblegum (still not too good at discerning & describing the various taste components; see "Re-review" below). A medium hops presence.

Mouthfeel: A very fine carbonation. It has a fairly full body.

Overall: The malt/hops balance is nice and appropriate for this style. I'll have this beer again, but overall it's not too exciting (still bothered by the odd sweetness).

Re-review: After drinking a few more of these, it occurred to me that the odd sweetness is likely due to the oak/bourbon aging. (duh on my part!) It still tastes a bit odd to me, though.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 02:55:48 | More by breakingbland
Photo of pcguitarwzrd
pcguitarwzrd

Florida

3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Copper-orange, hazy, two-finger creamy head.

S: Definitely bourbon, also molasses, toffee, and...cherry pie? Idk, that's what I'm getting.

T: Bready, almost shortbread-like malt character followed by sweet toffee, finishing with booze and powerful vanilla. The oak character is blended in nicely rather than being a slap in the face.

M: Much lighter than expected for such a malt-heavy beer. Velvety carbonation.

O: I really didn't know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised! Sweet, malty, and quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 23:01:10 | More by pcguitarwzrd
Photo of Keginator70
Keginator70

Massachusetts

2.81/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 18:58:12 | More by Keginator70
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,585 ratings.