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

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

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BA SCORE
83
good

1,579 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1579
Reviews: 478
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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Ratings: 1,579 | Reviews: 478 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Act25
Act25

New Jersey

3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Perfect mahogany, slightly hazed pour into a snifter. Not much head lasting, but plenty of lace. 3.75

S: A little bit of beer stink, malts, sweet, woody, alcohol, no hops. Not much aroma. 3.25

T: Best part of this beer. Clear bourbon back drop, which is filled with malts, caramel, vanilla, wood, cedar shavings, and sweet apple / raisin fruits, and a bit of finishing tingle. 3.75

MF: Too low carbonation, great finish, but would like more weight in a beer of this ABV and with this bourbon profile. I upped this due to extra ordinary, lasting bourbon mouth finish that lasts for an hour +.

O: It's slightly better than their bourbon stout, enjoyable, nice to find at an airport. Definitely a sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2014 17:34:16 | More by Act25
Photo of Totentanzer
Totentanzer

Ohio

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

Really shines on-tap. Prominent bourbon aroma, almost sweet to the nose. Little to no head. Served in a snifter. The ale itself is nothing robust or impressive. It is a simple vehicle with wich to deliver the oakiness & leached bourbon essences. Not one I reccomend enjoying all the time, but really nice as an occasional treat Enjoy

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2013 05:03:35 | More by Totentanzer
Photo of StuyBeerGuy
StuyBeerGuy

New York

4.34/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This beer has a light copper color body with a lively white head and good retention and lacing. Makes one want to drink it.

Smell - Smell and strong. The bourbon flavors that stand out are a minimal and intriguing bite with caramel smells.

Mouthfeel - Smooth. Also, this is one of the few weak-points of the beer. I wish it was longer in the mouth. It is smooth and bubbly besides a small issue.

Taste - Delicious, all of the smoky flavors of a bourbon with sweet flavors. Goes well with the decor of a irish pub.

I'd suggest this beer to a friend.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2013 05:54:36 | More by StuyBeerGuy
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Arrives a clear and bright reddish brown. Minimal, nearly non-existent, head, just a faint ring.
Smell is malty with notes of vanilla, coconut, bourbon, smoke/char and an really well received brown sugar sweetness. Very complex and really well balanced.
Taste is exactly the same: sweet, malty, vanilla, light smoke, bourbon, coconut. Again, very complex and very well balanced.
Smooth, fairly rich, and it only gets better as it warms. The ABV hides well but there is a warming aspect that develops as it warms up stopping short of becoming cloying. I highly recommend this one.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2013 02:22:44 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant deep copper brown with a modest cream head.

Bourbon, oak, and amber malt fruitiness comprise the initial aroma. Fairly boozy, with notes of vanilla and floral hops.

Flavor reveals fruity amber malt notes underlying a fairly bready, toasted malt backbone. Oak and bourbon shine through. Subsequent sips reveal dominant vanilla, caramel, and coconut notes.

Body is moderate to full, with moderate carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Too much vanilla for my liking. The malt backbone is nice, and oak provides good dryness. The fruity notes are somewhat offputting.

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2013 21:59:09 | More by barczar
Photo of bad72amx
bad72amx

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the most inconsistent beer I have ever tried. I have had it tapped numerous times, often in the same BW3 in Louisville. Sometimes, it is thick, rich, and Oakes with nice complex flavors of malt, candied sugar, very mild hops and some minor bourbony afterburn. If it were always like this, it would be a solid 4.5 overall. When it's like this, with a nearly syrupy mouthfeel, it is a personal favorite. It doesn't sound like it, but the mouthfeel and creamy head make it work.

Here comes the downside, and I have noticed this at different bars that have sometimes poured an excellent brew. Sometimes, it's just okay. Malty and sugary, with almost artificial bourbon aftertaste. No rich oak notes, no caramally candied sugars, just sweet malt. Like raw canned brewing malt was watered down. When it's like this it's almost fizzy, yet it builds and retains almost no head. Also, when it's like this it is more of a muddled dark straw color, instead of the deep golden brown it should be. It's almost like a lager with a dash of grenadine added without stirring. It's pretty, but when I see that I know I'm getting a mediocre beer.

Altech, please read this and revisit your Lexington brewery. It seems to me your quality control is very lacking, and lately I get more bad batches than excellent batches. I understand the need to meet demand, but if it makes a stellar beer okay, you are not doing anyone any favors.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2013 01:27:45 | More by bad72amx
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It comes off the tap a clear shining gold color. It sports a billowing head that foams up and drops down to a bit of a lighter whitish cap. With time, it recedes to the edges while leaving a wispy island. Some pretty good spotting with light legging does cling to the glass.
Wood is the inital note, not particularly dry, and something lighter that gives the imprssion of beech or balsam (but obviously isn't). Nice vanilla and toffee notes are present too. Oddly, I get something like plum, but a softer, pale flesh sort, and only a few flashes here and there. It's got a bit of booziness, but it's fairly tame.
A touch of the vanilla and toffee sweetness come out on the tongue with the wood up front, all under a note of grains that follows through to the end.
While smooth, it is a bit too lightly carbonated, and thins out slightly toward the end.

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2013 22:30:28 | More by Brenden
Photo of Brianedonovan
Brianedonovan

Massachusetts

3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I have tried this beer on 3 different occasions.
I am not a bourbon drinker, but I can tell the difference between bourbons.
(bartender)
Each time was different. I asked the bartender what he thought of the beer ( he knows his stuff) and he told me that this "batch" tasted like it was a makers mark barrel...I then tasted makers mark.
He continued to tell me they use different bourbon brand barrels for it and you can discern the difference in bourbons.
I liked the previous ones better (no idea what brand barrel they used....or if that is even true)

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2013 04:55:44 | More by Brianedonovan
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

2.7/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

On tap at meadhall

It’s a toasted gold ale with just a ring of soapy white foam. Smells of applesauce, rich peach and booze, some caramelized sugars and a bit of an immature oak. Taste is sweet, vanilla, nougat and more sweetness – really one dimensional. Medium bodied with lighter carb and a surprisingly dry finish. Not really a fan of this one.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2013 18:52:57 | More by harrymel
Photo of Bayern1971
Bayern1971

Illinois

4.59/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm a bit surprised at the so-so reviews of this beer. IMHO it's one of the best American beers I've tasted in a long time. Most beers classified as "Bourbon" usually come off as Chocolate mouth-bombs. Yeah, melted & fermented cocoa nightmares. What's so lovely about this one is that it hints at the cocoa but also has a subtle oak and vanilla flavor. Taste is complex and only becomes understandable after subsequent tastings. 9% alcohol is barely perceivable and there's little carbonation which is KBB's only weakness.

In parting, KBB is the best American brew I've tasted in years. There's a revolution going on here and I'm glad I'm along for the ride.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2013 04:28:29 | More by Bayern1971
Photo of ExtraStout
ExtraStout

Massachusetts

3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Had this on tap at The BBC in Norwood.

A- Pours a caramel color with minimal head. Quite frankly, it looks like fizzy bourbon.

S- Bourbon just dominates the nose. A little bit of wood in there and some pungent alcohol. Some caramel and molasses lie deep with there.

T- The bourbon is pretty well integrated with the smooth oak. Almost has a caramel/ buttery after taste. The alcohol is fairly hidden.

M- Lighter bodied but very smooth. No real feel of carbonation and not even any burn from the alcohol.

D- This one goes down smoothly but if you aren't a fan of bourbon, you will not enjoy this. I would call this a cheap bourbon alternative.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2013 21:22:13 | More by ExtraStout
Photo of SSEngelbrecht
SSEngelbrecht

Louisiana

4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at HopJack's in Pensacola, FL.

A: Huge light tan head, beautiful orange - red color.

S: The oak and citrus are prominent.

T: The barrel is the first taste to hit the palate. Red fruit and light citrus are also present. More subtleties emerge as the beer warms.

M: The beer is light and crisp.

O: This was a well balanced beer, but not overly complex. This is a great example of the style, and I really enjoyed it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2013 00:20:13 | More by SSEngelbrecht
Photo of BucBasil
BucBasil

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the tap into a tulip.

Aroma is Heavy butterscotch malt with caramel and toast.

Tastes very smooth with lots of malt. Buttery and toasty. A bit of scotch comes through as if I diluted a single malt with lots of water. Interesting!

Overall an ok beer. Very satisfying in the middle of the mountains.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2013 18:19:24 | More by BucBasil
Photo of vette2006c5r
vette2006c5r

Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale pours a dark golden color, with very little head. There is a nice oaky aroma, with hints of scotch. The taste had a strong oak like barrel flavor, with strong hints of scotch like flavors. Very easy to drink, and good full flavor. Overall a found this a very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2013 03:30:54 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of brockdidntslide
brockdidntslide

Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on draft at the public house in savannah.

beautiful copper color, medium head and a strong, but not overwhelming bourbon-vanilla taste. mouthfeel is rich and a bit sticky.

this one exceeded my expectations and certainly was far better than the BA score would have led me to believe.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2013 23:17:09 | More by brockdidntslide
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Almost no head, the color was bourbonesque, with soft brown tones.

The scent is creamy, milky and sweet with hints off coconuts. Very light bourbon, oak and earth are hard to come by.

The taste is very creamy, silky, milky lactose and strong coconut. I lost the actual bourbon flavor that I expected. The feel ended with a bourbon aftertaste and hints of alcohol on the tongue but overall this is a quality tasting ale.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2013 23:57:37 | More by KYGunner
Photo of CardiacNP
CardiacNP

Louisiana

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice draft pour from Fox & Hound in Ohio served in a nice matching snifter.

Poured a clear golden amber color with a small dense white head. There Was excellent lacing throughout the beer.

The aroma of bourbon was there along with a light sweet scent follow by woody oak hints.

Taste was very smooth slightly sweet with a wonderful bourbon aftertaste. Slight caramel and oak flavors present. Very very small hop characters noted.

Mouth feel was smooth , and a bit viscous. Very light carbonation. Little alcohol finishes but surprisingly light for a 8.2%ABV

Over all a very enjoy able ale. If you like bourbon also you would be please to try this beer. I know I will again.

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2013 01:55:11 | More by CardiacNP
Photo of DocJitsu
DocJitsu

California

3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Grey Goose in Lexington, Ky. Poured into a snifter. Very attractive clear bourbon color. No head at all, but that's likely due to the care the bartender took in pouring the beer. Some oaky vanilla on the nose, but it's so very delicate. Not much else going on in the aroma. Mouthfeel is slick, wet, and a little oily. The flavor consists of mild oak, vanilla, and bourbon. It falls a little flat. But, otherwise a decent beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2012 02:44:46 | More by DocJitsu
Photo of KickbacksSteve
KickbacksSteve

Florida

4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2012 02:22:08 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of kevanb
kevanb

Illinois

2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured on tap at Lockdown Bar and Grill in Chicago, served in an 8oz snifter

Pours a nice amber color, hues of brown, ruby, honey and copper when struck by the light, opaque, no head, no lacing. The aroma is of cheap bourbon, some oak, mild vanilla, rich malt. The bourbon is really prominent in the nose, which is both impressive, as it really highlights the bourbon, but unfortunately, it's clearly a cheaper or lower shelf bourbon and isn't the most inviting. The flavors are sub par, predominately watered down bourbon, and again, not a great bourbon either, mild vanilla and nougat are also detectable, but this beer really just drinks like an oddly thick watered down bourbon, not pleasant. The body is okay, carbonation is good but not great, could have had a bit more, almost a bit syrupy, the beer is a bit thinner than I'd like, perhaps that enhances the watery aspect, it is rather smooth at the finish, however it's just not remarkable.

Verdict: It's an ambitious beer, that's for sure, it does a great job of highlighting the bourbon character, however, it must be highlighting a really awful bourbon. This is a beer with a lot of potential, but at present, it's average at the best, happy to have tried it, but in a vast spectrum of barrel aged beers, this one is pretty close to the bottom of the barrel.

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2012 14:45:14 | More by kevanb
Photo of GrumpyGas
GrumpyGas

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 10 ounce brandy style glass, the ruddy amber colored nectar was every bit bourbon, despite a lack of odor. I was surprised by the missing sense and tried to determine if there were other contributors to my inability to detect (nearby food, smoke, or perfume) and found none of them either. I think I was so expecting to smell bourbon and alcohol that without either I missed the more subtle malt odor I later tasted.

Regardless, the first, and predictable, flavor was bourbon, followed by a strong alcohol taste. Given the name and the abv, I expected this and was not disappointed. As a liquid, the Bourbon Barrel Ale is very drinkable. It is smooth and without any aftertaste, a clean finish and mouthfeel.

The remainder of the pour was less bourbon/alcohol and more red ale malt, which I prefer. All it really needed was a cigar.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2012 04:03:28 | More by GrumpyGas
Photo of SGDJosh
SGDJosh


2.93/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On draft at Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop on 9/14:

A - New penny copper in color with very little head. What head was there has dissipated quickly leaving a soft lace on top.

S - Bourbon, burnt sugar, malts.

T - Sweet oak, lots of vanilla and little hint of chocolate. Tastes like a cheap Bourbon to me...

M - Light-Medium Body, carbonation is nice but it doesn't carry the alcohol well.

O - Not a great combination of body, flavor, and booze. It's sweet but doesn't hide the alcohol with such a light body. Just not my thing.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2012 14:30:36 | More by SGDJosh
Photo of brureview
brureview

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Doherty's in Pawtucket, RI. The served beer had a light honey color and poured a 1/2 finger head.

Carbonation bubbles streamed upwards from the bottom of the glass.

The beer smells like bourbon, and tastes like bourbon with vanilla overtones.

This is a special treat, and it doesn't taste like beer- it tastes like whiskey. A bit overwhelming, but worth drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2012 01:32:33 | More by brureview
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2012 00:12:59 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

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

On-tap at Harrigan’s Tavern, Dayton, OH

A: The beer is crystal clear light amber in color. It poured with a thin head on the surface that left some lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderate to strong aromas of bourbon in the nose; the smell intensifies as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the bourbon barrel aging really stands out in the taste, imparting flavors of bourbon and vanilla along with hints of oak. The vanilla becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The bourbon is nicely incorporated into this beer and doesn’t really add alcohol heat. I enjoyed this because the bourbon is very evident but not overpowering.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2012 14:35:22 | More by metter98
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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,579 ratings.