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: 2,513
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 16.21%
Wants: 138
Gots: 664 | 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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 556 | Hads: 2,513
Photo of orangemoustache
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Pours an even transparent amber. A soft slightly off-white cap lingers for a few moments before retreating to a thin cover that remains. Sloppy patches of lacing cling to the sides of the mug. Big smells from the oak barrel, slightly floral with lots of vanilla coming through. This is gentle on the tongue with a light creamy touch when swished around. The alcohol is masked well, but shows on the finish. Vanilla and bread crust malts up front. Bourbon is slightly muted by a lightly bitter hop presence. Again sweet notes of alcohol and oak hang on the pallet until the next sip. This seems to be very drinkable at first. The ABV seems to be the only hindrance as the flavors are never overwhelming or unappreciated. Solid Bourbon Ale. (738 characters)

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.39/5  rDev -6.9%

Pours a medium brown with an off white head. The smell is very heavy on both wood and bourbon to the point where I can't smell anything else. The taste is similar with a little bit of malt coming in the beginning and being taken over by the bourbon flavors. It was very tasty, although one-dimensional. (302 characters)

Photo of Avool1960
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I had recently discovered bourbon barrel aged brews at the Yards brewery in Philadelphia Pa. Seems to be made just for me. This Kentucky brew is a wonderful tasting beer. The ale is light and flavorful with the the bourbon and oak flavors coming thru to please. It is smooth, and has no bad after taste. It's like a cocktail for real men! Try it. (346 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.31/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Picked this up a few weeks back in Totowa, having never had anything from Alltech's before. I like this style of beer but as so many others alluded to on here, this was weak in the mouthfeel and fell way short of its potential. Even the alcohol was too weak, leading me to believe that this could have been a Brown Ale instead of an English Strong Ale. It went down well but on a cool night like this, I was hoping for a bit more warmth and body.

The pour to this was decent, with a clear appearance, bright copper hue, and sizable head. There was enough lacing to be seen as well and nice amount of carbonation from the get-go. Not a strong aroma as there was some bourbon, oak, and molasses in the nose and faint amounts of those in the taste as well. Was this too malty? Sure. Was this too weak? Unfortunately. Was this like an after-dinner cordial and not a beer that I would expect from the Bluegrass State? Absolutely. Almost reminded me of Frangelico or 43 as there was some walnut or hazelnut that came out of nowhere and went away just as fast. Not a lot of warmth of stickiness like I had hoped.

There was alcohol here but not in the taste and only when I polished this off could I fell it subtly kick in. While not a complete letdown, this beer had so much potential to it but proverbially fell flat. Not as complex as a true Bourbon Barrel Beer, this is what I'd give someone who never had anything of this sort before. Too light for a style that can get as heavy as can be - worth a go once for for those who can't get a hold of anything from Innis and Gunn. (1,576 characters)

Photo of jeranbrews
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

A - pretty amber fine bead cloud white head 3.5

S - bourbon! Sweet and tons of bourbon 3

T - whiskey and a tiny bit of beer. Whiskey flavor overpowers beer completely - 2

M - sharp bourbon sting, with the creamy beer mouthfeel. Confusing. 3

O - interesting but more like a beer cocktail than a beer - 3 (311 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 MDHopster
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%

Clear cooper with white head about 3/4 inch. Excellent smell with vanilla oak bourbon nose, pleasantly drinkable with slight alcohol bite. Blends well with steak and sautéed mushrooms and onions. (197 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4/5  rDev +9.9%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, golden amber/straw color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed wispy clouds that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Boozy, as you can definitely smell the bourbon of the bourbon barrels the beer was aged in, as well as some oak, vanilla, butter, toasted malt, toffee.

Taste: Interesting. Pretty damn good, in fact! Strong malt notes up front, imparting flavors of buttered toast, caramel and toffee-like sweetness. I also get some vanilla and oak, along with the boozy bourbon flavors courtesy of the aging in bourbon barrels.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, and pretty smooth, as there is pretty much no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 8.19%, there is a definite presence of alcohol on the palate, imparting a pleasant warmth in the mouth.

Overall: This is a much better beer than I was expecting. Nice malt notes, nicely balanced with toffee and caramel and the bourbon overtones. Very nice! I’d certainly drink it again. (1,117 characters)

Photo of seedyone
2.25/5  rDev -38.2%

02/27/14 From bottle. Having had the Coffee version from this outfit before, I wasn't expecting much.

I guess I'm spoiled by the likes of Goose Island Bourbon County or Brooklyn Black Ops.

The texture is a bit watery & the coffee flavor tastes forced.

I wouldn't flush it from the bomb shelter stores, but I would question why space was allotted to this particular brew. (376 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.91/5  rDev -20.1%

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color. The head is around a finger high, and white in shade. It doesn't have a particularly soft-looking texture or great retention by any means. No lacing, either. Generally, though, it looks pretty good. (3.5)

Smell: Well, it does bring a bourbon character, that's for sure. However, it's closer to actual bourbon than bourbon barrel (there's a minimal oak note, at best). It also brings butterscotch. A LOT of butterscotch. While the diacetyl and caramel characters blend very well to create such a quality, it also seems overly sweet and sugary. Not bad, but I don't think it will entirely be to my taste, either. (3)

Taste: Actually, it's far more oak laden than I anticipated. Bourbon attacks the palate immediately, though obviously it doesn't have the nuance of a BCBS. The midtaste brings the butterscotch I picked up in the nose, along with some vanilla and banana. Finally, the finish is somewhat prickly and hot for 8.2%. I'll forgive the latter since it's designed to showcase bourbon flavor rather than be a melange of various flavors. Even with all the diacetyl, this really isn't an awful beer once you realign your expectations - though it does seem to become rather metallic after warming up significantly (drink it cooler!) (2.75)

Mouthfeel: The feel is rather sharp, initially. After around half the bottle, though, it transforms from a slightly biting feel to a sweet, buttery one. It seems to feature decent carbonation, but it's a bit hard to discern the fizz from the tannin bite. (3)

Overall: I totally get the appeal of this - think of it as a beginner's bourbon barrel-aged beer. It's 'basicness' is both its greatest plus and its biggest flaw, though. I don't see much reason to revisit this personally. (3)

2.91/5: It has understandable appeal, it's just not my bag, baby (1,873 characters)

Photo of Shadar
4/5  rDev +9.9%

While not my favorite style of beer, it's hard to argue about the quality. This stuff is exquisitely smooth and is one of the most amazing mixing beers I've found. Combined with a vanilla porter, for example, you have a very amazing combination. (248 characters)

Photo of JLSIV
2.95/5  rDev -19%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass, Bright clear copper color with a thin one finger head that dissipated very quickly, some lacing.

Aroma of oak and bourbon was extremely pleasant

Taste was bourbon up front, with an aggressive alcohol flavor for an 8.5 ABV brew. I have had trippels and quads that were more subtle. If you are looking for an old-fashioned boiler maker flavor, then this is for you.

Mouthfeel is thin and a little watered down.

Overall, I think this is a gimmicky attempt to attract the crossover high end spirit crowd. I am glad that I purchased this as a single, it just isn't my thing I guess. Again, some of the positives are the aroma and appearance…it is definitely an eye grabber for the initial aroma and color, I think there are better English Strong Ales out there. I gave it the mark I did based largely on appearance, aroma, and effort. Probably won't be trying again. (921 characters)

Photo of avalon07
2.25/5  rDev -38.2%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted a fair amount of time. Pretty good lacing.

S: A mild aroma of bourbon and malt, but little else.

T: Tasted of an overabundance of malt, light fruit and some bourbon. There wasn't nearly enough bourbon to make an impact here, but that seems to be the problem with the flavor. It's too thin and unfocused.

M: A fair amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This beer is kind of a mess all around. It simply wasn't pushed far enough, therefore it was a thin brew. (620 characters)

Photo of Dwreck
2.25/5  rDev -38.2%

Huge smell of oak which was exciting, but that was about it. Has a bright clear copper color. Mouthfeel was medium high carbonation and the taste was bright but odd. The high carbonation hurt the bourbon flavors. Both beers I have tried from this brewer were disappointing. Looked good, smelled good, fell short. (313 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 KNor
1.81/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

What city does the "M" stand for that on the bottle? Ussually a letter in front of the code indicates a differnt manufacturing location.

tasted fruity/ banana not as bourbon like as it was last time i tried it. Did they start diluting this down. wonder what percent of the beer I drank was ever in a barrel (307 characters)

Photo of Monalenard
1.65/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a mahogany brown with a fizzy macro/corn soda lager head that fades as quickly as possible.
smells like it looks, cheap malt, slight hints of bourbon and oak.
taste follows the nose- bourbon barrel budwiser.
mouthfeel is medium, average carbonation.
overall- bourbon barreled budwiser. (291 characters)

Photo of cambabeer
2.81/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Yeah... I thought this was going to be better. No head on this one, hazy copper body. Nose is of bourbon and rotten funk, with some vanilla. Taste is malty, not very hoppy, bourbon and metallic. I'm just not feeling this one. Mouthfeel is ok, large carbonation. Overall, this was not decent enough to buy enough, but I'd drink it again if someone handed it to me... (365 characters)

Photo of PubMariner
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance – Medium amber with a white head that fades to a ring.
Aroma – The aroma is soft and oaky with a definite note of bourbon. Vanilla and toffee show through.
Taste – First taste is toasty with some toffee and vanilla. The oak and bourbon influence come through strong in the middle and carry all the way through.
Finish – Toffee candy with a light bourbon taste. This beer is all bourbon and oak from start to finish. (434 characters)

Photo of denver10
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with absolutely no head. Aroma is nice and oaky, soft bourbon presence, vanilla, and a tease of some toffee. Aroma is nice but I wish it could have had a touch more depth to allow it to be great; nails the bourbon and barrel influence, lacks enough beer presence. Flavor is toasty and spiceyy with oak, vanilla, toffee, and a soft bourbon presence. A medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this far surpassed my expectations. I always saw this one on tap at the craft bars in Colorado but always passed on it. For whatever reason I assumed it was a dud. Now that I am living in Kentucky and found singles of it on the local shelves, figured I'd give it shot. Certainly glad I did, decent stuff. (710 characters)

Photo of Gear54
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: minimal amount of foam that faded quickly. It had a dark copper color and slight lacing.

S: vanilla and oak mostly with a slight alcohol note underneath

T: to me this beer lived up to its potential. It was slightly sweet with vanilla and oak flavored. There was little doubt about the bourbon barrel's impact on this brew. Hardly any bitterness

M: light with a lasting bourbon finish

O: This wasn't the beer I was planning on having at the pub but I'm glad it's the one that landed on my coaster! I'll be grabbing some for the beer fridge! (546 characters)

Photo of HamdenHector
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; a beautiful bronze; 1 finger egg shell head that receded quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass; little lacing;

S: vanilla, oak. a little boozy;

T: vanilla up front, oak and booze at mid-palate; vanilla really comes through in the finish; very little bitterness;

M; light to medium bodied - lighter than I expected; moderate carbonation;

O: maybe this beer had been built up too much, but I was a little disappointed; this is a nice beer, but not as complex as I would have liked; (510 characters)

Photo of lochef81
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bba ale pours a handsome deep copper color with very little head but decent film and legs. The aroma is a rich blend of vanilla, oak, leather, and nice warm booze. The flavor is just as rich and delicious. There is alot of bourbon here and alcohol heat. Its actually surprisingly hot given the abv. Mouthfeel is thick n sticky, in the best way. I love this, but I also love bourbon. If you don't then you're gonna hate this. If you do, do yourself a favor and drink this at room temperature. (496 characters)

Photo of raleigh_blue
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle with no date. Picked up a few months ago in NOLA.

A: Aggressive pour into Iron Abbey snifter leaves a thin head with no lacing. Clear golden amber.

S: Hints of caramel and malts. Not much here. No Bourbon whatsoever.

T: Somewhat pleasing vanilla caramel and malt. Again, like the nose, zero bourbon. Is very hot - does not disguise the abv whatsoever.

M: A little thin but with good carbination .

O: A poor mans BBA ASA. I would not buy it again but its not awful. (477 characters)

Photo of Zacemy
4.56/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a delicious brew. I am a big fan of bourbon and the taste is excellent. This a beer that you want to take your time and enjoy its rich flavor. I stumbled upon it and will most likely be drinking it again. You do not need to be a big fan of bourbon to enjoy this beers big flavor. (287 characters)

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