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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

1,582 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1582
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 1,582 | Reviews: 479 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cvm4
cvm4

Mississippi

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2012 19:16:16 | More by cvm4
Photo of GossageBrewery
GossageBrewery

Missouri

4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this English Strong Ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This ale poured a amber color. Produces a very small white head, poor retention and it leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma of this ale consists of bourbon whisky, vanilla and oak. Full bodied, this ale has a foundation of malted grain, features the flavor of bourbon ale throughout. There are also hints of vanilla, and oak. High ABV- Dry finish, this one is a sipping beer,- Overall impression is that this is very unique- It easy to forger your drinking a beer and not a mixed drink. Extremely unique- its a must try!

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2012 19:49:33 | More by GossageBrewery
Photo of BrownAleMale
BrownAleMale

Wisconsin

3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Horny Goat pint glass.

Appearance- A yellow orange and red tint to the beer with a very small amount of white head that fully dissipates. Lots of carbonation bubbles.

Smell- Burbon and lots of sweet and sour fruits. Some sweet carmel malt notes too.

Taste- Bourbon begining with a sour hop middle and the big bourbon comes back for the finish. Honestly I am a Jameson on the rocks drinker and this tastes a lot like that. A watered down whiskey.

Mouthfeel- Very watery

Overall- Basically if you are a whiskey fan you will probably enjoy this since it tastes like whiskey on the rocks. For what it is, it misses the mark. Do I enjoy it? Yes!

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 21:39:49 | More by BrownAleMale
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very beautiful beer, light brown colored, with amazing clarity. The bubbles of carbonation stream upward in numerous lines, supporting a half inch thick off-white foam with excellent retention. Nose is straightforward bourbon, with vanilla notes and sort of a nutty malt character.

The flavor is rather unsweetened and a bit dry with toasty oak and vanilla notes, and yet more nuttiness, almost like almonds. It's suprisingly not overpowering, but something is a bit off here. Perhaps it's a bit too one dimesional, I think it actually needs a bit more kick. The finish is dry and without much depth, it could use a little more bitterness or even some heat to round things out. Mouthfeel is a bit light, carbonation softer than it would appear.

Not as bad as I was expecting, but not good either really. This beer is more of a novelty, probably to entice whisky fans into trying a bourbon-esque brew that will suit their tastes. Hardcore beer fans will likely pass on this one as the beer itself lacks complexity.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2012 05:54:52 | More by bennetj17
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: medium gold body, finger of head

S: bourbon is predominant, secondary malty caramel and vanilla

T: nice malt character enhanced by bourbon, vanilla, and oak

M: thin on the palate, mild carbonation, no aftertaste

O: reminiscent of Innis & Gunn beers, but with a slightly denser character and more sweetness - I personally prefer this to them - a decent drink, worth the try, but probably not something I'd return to

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2012 16:57:50 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of zeledonia
zeledonia

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this in a BIF, along with a matching snifter. My only glass specific to a single beer, so I've gotta use it. Tasted 2 September 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a very clear, pale golden-orange. Half-finger of whitish head, not much lacing. OK.

Smells like whiskey. Really, that's all I get from it. But that's what it's supposed to smell like, so I'm fairly impressed. Not much beer character at all.

Tastes like watered-down whiskey. I get some grainy flavors up-front, but it's a whole lot like a shot of whiskey with water. Interesting. There's no sharpness at all, no alcohol bite, no burn. It's like they pulled just the flavor out, and somehow made the beer taste like that.

Mouthfeel is fine. Watery, with medium-low carbonation.

The thing that amazes me about this beer is how they seem to have pulled all the flavor, the essence, or bourbon out, without the alcohol or the sharp edges. Probably the mellowest bourbon-forward beer I've ever had. Unusual, and quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2012 03:08:26 | More by zeledonia
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad, but a bit too oaky and sweet. Pours amber with very little head, Smells sweet and oaky with a bourbon nose of brown sugar, vanilla, and oak. Simple, and a bit sweet, but not bad. Similar taste, with the same notes in the nose, but it feels a bit more washed out and fades toward the end. Right at the finish, there is a fairly bit hit of vanilla. Overall, although there are indeed Bourbon flavors here, it's not any Bourbon I'd ever drink- far too one dimensional and lacks subtlety, yet at the same time is a bit washed out and lacks punch, substituting oaky sweetness instead. Just okay.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 02:26:07 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
cindyjeffsmith

Georgia

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: mostly clear, somewhere between straw and golden. The full creamy off white saves it.
Smell: Oak and vanilla, brown sugar, and bourbon, but fairly tame, not as rich as all those flavors would suggest.
Taste: matches the nose.
Overall: very nice. I still prefer the monsters but this is a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2012 00:02:16 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful clear coppery amber with a thick and rather persistent fluffy ivory head. Malty aroma has a strong, oaky overtone of bourbon barrel and a hint of caramel. Bourbon and oak dominate the flavor, but not too much, letting through malty and subtle fruity notes plus a caramel hint. Firm texture has OK fizz and leaves a nice bourbon-barrel finish. I hope that this is a year-round beer and not a one-and-done special.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2012 21:21:31 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2012 01:59:07 | More by FosterJM
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Surprisingly clear orange brown body. Fine white head with low retention and ok lace.

S - Super sweet with brown sugar and yellow raisin, slightly boozy, lots of vanilla, touch of wet oak.

T - Vanilla ice cream, cream soda, and bourbon complete with vanilla and an edge of oak. Touch watery.

M - Light frame, especially for the style. Low on carbonation.

O - The sweetness is definitely off balance, but when you sit back and work through flavors it tastes like a bourbon ice cream float, and at face value that's a pretty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2012 23:09:00 | More by vfgccp
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz, 9/11 bottle date
Boulevard tulip

A: Pours out a clear muted orange color. Even though I didn't get a ton of head (only a ring of white), I did get a lot of tiny bubbles steaming from the bottom. Leaves some lacing. Definitely see some alcohol feet.

S: Immediately I get caramel and sweet malt. It's almost BA barleywine like initially. I get some vanilla too. Bourbon is present. The age might have killed some hops off.

T: You don't get a lot of bitterness up front anymore, but there is a touch. Sweet malts: caramel and toffee. It's very barleywine like without the body. Vanilla hints in the mid mouth. Some woodiness. The finish is creamy.

M: It's medium bodied. Creamy almost.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2012 12:58:14 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of rfbenavi80
rfbenavi80

Missouri

3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed with a friend.
Bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a deep golden color with 2 fingers of white creamy looking head that dissipates moderately slow, leaving virtually no lacing, but does create a ring around the edge.

S- Smells of sweet oak, mixed with vanilla and charcoal. Not as bourbon forward as I want it to be.

T- Definitely a unique tasting beer. Toasty vanilla bourbon flavors are there, however it tastes very young and unrefined.

M- Medium light body, with a light amount of carbonation.

O- Disappointed, because I've definitely had better barrel aged beers. The Kentucky name in leads me to believe the bourbon taste and aroma would be front and center, however its not.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2012 10:35:55 | More by rfbenavi80
Photo of Schmuckles
Schmuckles

Rhode Island

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 03:00:08 | More by Schmuckles
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic

Florida

3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Medium gold color, and very, very clear. One finger's worth of white head, and lots of visible carbonation.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, charcoal, caramel malt.

T: Follows the nose - very bourbon forward, but with nice woody flavors and a caramel sweetness.

M: Thin thin mouthfeel. Nice carbonation on the tongue. Not overly hot even with the bourbon flavors.

O: This one is different, interesting, but ultimately not great. I feel like it's a bourbon-aged non-hoppy pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2012 23:32:40 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of eclipse54
eclipse54

Minnesota

3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 12 ounce bottle picked up at Casanova on my New Glarus run. Saw it sitting there and figured I'd give it a shot. Poured into a DFH signature glass.

The body is much lighter than expected, being more of a golden wheat color with some reddish, copper hues. It's very transluscent and only develops a thin, quarter-inch layer of eggshell white head. Minimal retention and lacing, but there is an ever present pillow of bubbles streaming up the center of the glass and billowing out on the surface. Still, I would not have guessed this was a barrel aged strong ale by looking at it (maybe an IPA?).

Aroma is of bourbon and not much else. Maybe some brown sugar or caramel, maybe. A bit offputting, and here's to hoping that it tastes better than it smells.

And it does, tasting of bourbon, some vanilla and toffee, a bit of oak and caramel, some brown sugar, and a hefty dose of ethanol. Surprisingly, it's not too bad once you get past the dominating bourbon.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky and resinous, and it finishes pretty dry. Prominent alcohol burn on the finish.

Overall, this isn't one I'll be revisiting anytime soon. The bourbon is just way too pronounced for me. It really seems like you could have recreated this by just adding bourbon as opposed to barrel aging. Perhaps it will mellow out a bit with some time, but I'm not going to be the one to find out.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 19:50:53 | More by eclipse54
Photo of Chaz
Chaz

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant brass in color, exhibiting average amount of carbonation. The beer is topped with a two-fingered, lighter tan head (more off-white) which falls rather quickly and leaves a ring of foamy lace and thin film on top.

Nose offers vanilla and sort of an indeterminate malty fruitiness. On second guess, the bourbon aspect is full and there's even some boozy character. There's an almost tropical sensibility on the nose -- tropical fruit and rum with vanilla? It's a little odd, and much different than what I was expecting...

Sweet and full of the bourbon barrel character on the first sip. Equal parts warming alcohol and vanilla overtones, along with the tropical fruit aspect present in the malt character on the nose, and WOW! Am I tasting coconut, or am I just imagining it?

Mouthfeel is a little fuller than I'd expect (and the barrel treatment always seems to thin any beer style), but it's really sort of an average mouthfeel, and the carbonation actually seems lighter on the palate than it "looked" streaming from the bottom of the glass...

Overall this is a quirky drink. It's no carbon copy barrel-aged anything, and is instead unique enough to seek out insofar as the flavor is concerned. Frankly --and though I'm sure it isn't to everyone's liking-- as a fan of shmaltzy Tiki drinks I might seek to buy this one by the case!

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2012 00:12:12 | More by Chaz
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dave Guay for sharing. Pours a golden-copper hue with a crystal clarity and no head. Nose is fairly subdued - some bourbon notes as well as a trace of butter and burnt sugar. Flavors come off a bit watered down and the bourbon is a bit masked. There's also a slight graininess in the mix. It all comes off a bit light and not what I would consider within the American Strong Ale category. Mouthfeel is light in body with a smooth, even carbonation. Overall, I found this beer interesting, but somewhat lacking in a clear style or identity. Maybe a little more time in the bourbon barrels would impart more character.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 14:20:38 | More by Jwale73
Photo of BostonHops
BostonHops

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a mug.

pours a clear, medium-light amber tone while yielding a finger or so of short lived head. not much lacing to speak of. nose is a bit more subdued than i was anticipating with subtle notes of caramel malt, a touch of vanilla and mild bourbon.

flavor mostly follows the aroma with caramel, vanilla, a little oak, and some - though not a lot of - bourbon. unique flavor profile, not what i expected. medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall, while it does have the uniqueness element going for it, in the final analysis it's an average beer - doesn't really work for me. it's not terrible, just not something i would seek out again. worth a try though.

(originally reviewed: 02-08-2012)

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 04:33:44 | More by BostonHops
Photo of TheoV
TheoV

Wisconsin

3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Golden colored, with not much of a head.
Smell - It smells somewhere between bourbon and cream soda.
Taste - It tastes like what it is, a cross between a light beer and a bourbon. The taste is slightly sweet with strong vanilla and bourbon notes, although the vanilla tastes almost like it came from them pouring a bottle of extract into it.
Mouthfeel - On the light end of medium. Definitely the lightest bourbon barrel aged beer I've ever had.
Overall - I like this beer because overall, because I'm a fan of bourbon, and it has strong bourbon notes, but it's not nearly as heavy or dark as most bourbon barrel aged beers. This makes it a nice change of pace for when I don't want something heavy and dark.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2012 23:25:24 | More by TheoV
Photo of MCDuhamel
MCDuhamel

Ohio

3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at around 45F. The beer looks like a pale ale; dark gold/light orange, perfectly clear, with moderate carbonation. The head is a loose white foam that falls to a thin cap. No lacing. The nose is very big, with vanilla highly dominant and bourbon pretty hidden; nothing else shows through. Flavor is vanilla again, with a bit of honey-like sweetness and some graininess toward the finish. There's a dulce de leche like quality to the beer; a mild, buttery caramel. Interestingly, while the beer is generally sweet, the finish dries out a bit, and prickly carbonation balances the beer. Hops don't play much of a role with this one; none in the nose, none in the flavor, and the bittering appears to be just enough to prevent the beer from being cloying. It's not heavy on the tongue, and the alcoholic heft doesn't make itself noticed. Perhaps a bit out of balance, but an interesting drink just the same.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2012 23:46:14 | More by MCDuhamel
Photo of biglite351
biglite351

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Light honey color, like a murkey dark lager. Very short white head that vanished FAST

S - Smokey mild bourbon, but that is it

T - Unique. Mild bourbon, honey, maybe green grapes. Odd but good

M - solid coating with a tingle on front and sides of tongue

O - Different and odd enough to opt for over many other choices

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2012 11:20:26 | More by biglite351
Photo of cincyfan90
cincyfan90

Rhode Island

3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: A strong, sweet nose of bourbon and vanilla

Taste: The bourbon presence is more so in the nose rather than the taste; this beer has sweet caramel notes along with the spice of bourbon and vanilla.

Overall: A pleasant beer that can be paired well with Flan, jalapeno cornbread, and smoked pork.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2012 15:30:33 | More by cincyfan90
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle approximately a year old.

A: Pours a mostly clear medium amber with some floaties. Good sized fizzy white head. Fades at a reasonable pace and leaves almost no lacing.

S: Smells like bourbon, unsurprisingly. Harsh bourbon. Toffee, caramel, raisins and oak.

T: Initially toffee and caramel and oak. Then lots of vanilla. And I mean a lot. Sweet.

M: Medium bodied and smooth. Pretty standard.

O: An interesting but otherwise uneventful beer. I had this fresh and I remember it being much harsher and pretty much just pure cheap bourbon. Now it's just a flash of bourbon and tons of vanilla. It's honestly not bad but pretty simple and straightforward.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2012 05:05:19 | More by Dope
Photo of bbd496
bbd496


4.88/5  rDev +33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

THis beer blew me away . I got it at Grapes and Grains in Barrington Rhode Island and it was absolutly astounding. I have never had a bourbon Barrel age beer taste so perfect. The vanilla and finish of bourbon flavor is so smooth and elegant but robust at the same time. I have found a new favorite.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 17:06:14 | More by bbd496
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,582 ratings.