Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale - Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
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Ratings: 1,891 | Reviews: 499 | Display Reviews Only:
3.93/5 rDev +7.1%
Maybe the first Kentucky beer I have had,I poured into an oversized wine glass to get the full aroma aspects of this beer,it poured clear deep golden with a very thin head,good clarity just not much head to it.Man that stuff smells like Wild Turkey,full oak and vanilla/caramel notes with a bit of biscuit malt,no hop presence that I could find.Light mouthfeel but not sharp,just a little thinner than expected I guess.Flavors are oaky and vanilla tinged with that caramel and and biscuit showing through as well,again no hop presence noticrable in my mind.Something a little different,it tastes just as much as a bourbon as a strong ale,but I liked it for a change of pace.
11-24-2008 19:02:16 | More by oberon
3.98/5 rDev +8.4%
Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.
Big thanks to VDubb86 for finally gettin' this off my Wants!
Kentucky + Bourbon + beer = yes. This thing pours a clear, bright amber topped by a minor bit o' white foam. The nose comprises oak, caramel, whiskey, butterscotch, and a tiny touch o' vanilla. The alcohol hangs over the surface, both a come-hither eying and a staunch admonition. I like a challenge. The taste refuses to deviate from the smell, with the bourbon-draped oak coming in at full force. A sly hint of maple syrup nudges the 'buds' arms, rather than just coming right out and introducing itself. I like it. The body is a slender medium, with a light carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice little sipper, something to be enjoyed, though rapture remains aloof.
02-26-2011 05:20:58 | More by TMoney2591
4.13/5 rDev +12.5%
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...
06-30-2007 02:21:53 | More by emerge077
3.65/5 rDev -0.5%
A - Poured out a dark orange/amber color with a tan, creamy, but small head. It left some trails of lace.
S - It smelled of bourbon, vanilla and molasses.
T - The taste really had too much bouron flavor. It was still sweet and caramely, but the bourbon flavor was almost too strong.
M - It was smooth, soft and creamy. A medium to full bodied beer.
D - This is okay, but I prefer just hints of bourbon flavor in my beer and this one was just too strong.
09-28-2008 18:57:03 | More by zeff80
3.74/5 rDev +1.9%
355ml bottle. I get a weird feeling about the provenance of this offering, given that it is imported by the same liquor chain/agent that recently brought in all those re-branded, bland contract brews from World Brews.
This beer pours a crystal clear, pale copper amber hue, with one finger of loosely foamy, bubbly off-white head, which leaves but a few stray specks of lace around the glass as it hastily melts away.
It smells of woody caramel and vanilla, a bit of musky spice which zeroes in on the particular type of whisky barrel here, some grainy malt sweetness, and mildly citrusy, earthy hops. The taste is still big on the vanilla and toffee barrel notes, with a further lessening of the spicy, fruity character one might expect from the titular spirit, a soft oaken woodiness, smooth candy-tinted doughy caramel malt, and some obscured leafy, citrusy hops. The barrel notes do well to integrate the 16.38-proof (we are talking Yankee booze here) ABV.
The carbonation is quite sedate, not really doing much beyond very basic support, the body a sturdy medium weight, but bordering on cloying in its bald-tire smoothness. It finishes on the sweet side, the soused vanilla, caramel, toffee, and malt all facing little counterpoint action.
A decent malt-forward English-style ale, awash in beginners' bourbon barrel character. That's all fine and good, and tasty enough to be a means to an end. However, for me to actually desire another, there needs to be something in the way of balance to the well varied sweetness. Oh, and as for this brewer's origins? I apologize for intimating that they are in the same league as World Brews.
01-14-2013 23:32:41 | More by biboergosum
3.6/5 rDev -1.9%
I could be way off on this, but it seemed to me like Kentucky Ale that had been barrel aged. It poured a golden colored body beneath a short head of creamy white foam. The nose was loaded with bourbon, but I didn't find it really intriguing. It had the sweetish, woody, alcoholic notes, but I'd imagine that you could pull that out of a barrel just by adding water. The flavor was better, and there's a bit of malt base to it (but again, it seemed simply like standard Kentucky Ale). It was well rounded with vanilla and wood though, and there wasn't too much alcohol (as can happen in some cases). Other than that there's not much I can say about this beer. It seems kind of light for a Bourbon barrel beer. I'd like to see more malt behind it, but it was enjoyable. Would I have two in a row? - Never! But it has its merits. I might like to enjoy one with a good book in front of the hearth, or perhaps with a meal that included caramelized onions and yams, or something like that. Or at a backyard barbeque in the summer with some tangy ribs! Worth trying... but not worth buying a six pack.
12-14-2007 20:45:02 | More by NeroFiddled
3.9/5 rDev +6.3%
Pours a clear amber with a thin creme head. Nose is boozy, like I was taking a whiff of bourbon. Flavor is more bourbon than anything. Not really complex at all. But it is creamy. Feel carries the same character on liquid and carbonation is lower. A nice sipper. If you like the bourbon, this is pretty heavy with it, so you'd be happy.
11-03-2008 02:03:40 | More by RblWthACoz
3.5/5 rDev -4.6%
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.
A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.
S: The aroma contains bourbon, vanilla, alcohol, caramelized malts and some hops.
T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, vanilla and bourbon. The bourbon barrel aging is quite evident as it is in the smell but it also brings medicine-like flavor. The malt character is on the thin side for this type of beer and there’s a mild but complementary hops presence. However, there isn’t as much balance as you get from most barrel-aged beers. The after-taste is slightly sweet.
M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.
O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, good variation of style, it’s not a bad beer but there are several other barrel-aged beers I would choose over this one.
04-13-2012 00:09:18 | More by TheManiacalOne
2.28/5 rDev -37.9%
Appears a pale copper translucent color with a large bright white head, fine bubbled lacing forms evenly as it dwindles and continues the pattern with each sip.
Aroma is straight up oak barrel and vanilla with whiskey just coming out of it's pores. It smells like Hank Williams Jr in the 80s or Tim Mcgraw's new cologne that's out now. When leather, oak, brown sugar and vanilla collide without any cohesion. Big charred oak characteristics, the base beer just seems so lifeless I guess the whiskey barrel aging gives it what's here doesn't really complement the beer like so many other versions of brews that sit in the whiskey soaked oak. There's something very solvent and chemical about the aroma that doesn't even make me want to take my first sip.
Flavor yep there's a reason why I didn't want any part of it, it's like sipping on whiskey without the 80 proof. Whiskey tea we'll call it. Sour mash is evident with vanilla, charred oak and hints of caramel and toffee with some serious booziness for a beer this thin in body. Makes it seem like such a gimmick beer that's only really being brewed for the Kentucky Derby, there's no other audience that is going to take to this beer.
Mouthfeel is thin way to thin for alcohol level and the flavor profile it just doesn't carry it too well, it's like watered down whiskey tea. Booze gives a bit of a burn, but it's really the charred oak flavor bringing out a bit of cinnamon like expressions on the palate. Gag reflux get ready I'll be lucky to make it through 12 oz of this brew.
Drinkability overall when in Rome I guess, like if I was at the Derby bidding and I was really worn out of the official mixed drink of the Alltech F.E.I. than yeah maybe I would have this abomination. I'd rather have brews run through whiskey soaked oak chips in an infuser like Bocktown has been doing for quite some time now.
02-28-2010 06:11:01 | More by WVbeergeek
3.83/5 rDev +4.4%
Thanks to clvand0 for the sample ...
A- Mild haze off of a deep golden hue, thin lacing from a light carbonation.
S- WOW!! Big hit of bourbon in the aroma, sweet vanilla, alcoholic and woody.
T- Upfront malt sweetness melds perfectly with the thick layer of bourbon flavor, mild hopping shows a modest but balancing bitterness. Both vanilla and wood are all over the palate with a warming alcohol from the 7.0% abv.
M- A tad too under-carbonated for my liking but it does not really take away from the beer that much. Nice and creamy though.
D- Sipping and sipping only ... I could only see having one glass in a sitting.
07-12-2005 19:03:18 | More by Jason
3.53/5 rDev -3.8%
Thanks to jwc215 for this one, Thanks Joe!
Pours honey/amber with one finger of rapidly falling pearl colored head. Nice viscous look to this with average lacing & head retention
S: Toffee, butterscotch & bourbon by the bucket that faded as this warmed
T: Dryness, bourbon & butterscotch & some booze warmth upfront. Much toffee, oaky, dryness & vanilla as this warms. Finishes dry, semi-boozey with a touch of honey, almost pulled a 4.0
MF: A bit thin all things considered, more malt depth is needed, with medium carbonation
Drinks alright, a bit dry for my tastes
08-11-2008 04:34:57 | More by russpowell
4.25/5 rDev +15.8%
A beatiful pour from the growler into the chosen chalice, a lush, milky white head, very slowly settling, over a uniquely colored brew, a hue somewhere between tangerine and tea.
Aroma carries hints of cherries, oak and maple, followed by harder traces of whiskey, sweetness and harsher alcoholic whiffs...although I find that this nose opens up, widens in scope and character over time...who can says what I'll smell further into the glass.
One the tongue, almost 100% pure bourbon. I like that, bourbon would be my liquor of choice, if I went near the hard stuff. Plumb and rich, abundant whiskey flavor. Makes sense, seeing as how they used a pale ale as a base, that the bourbon character would dominate. Damnably delicious!
Medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel, soft, woody/cherry-ish finish...quite mellow, actually. And defiantly drinkable, ....though every now and then, I remember the strength and put on the brakes...perhaps this growler will serve as a tasty nightcap over the next few days?
Wow. Very nice. Way to go, Lexington!
And thanks to my buddy, kmpitz, for the growler!
(Edit, after reading other reviews: vanilla, and coconut...yeah...why didn't I catch that earlier?)
11-03-2005 03:03:57 | More by feloniousmonk
3.45/5 rDev -6%
I picked this one up while at Ft Knox at the Px, just getting around to reviewing it.
Poured cold into a session ale glass
A - An ale the shade of bourbon w/ a bone white 2 1/2 finger fluffy head. The lace clings moderately well
S - The scent of bourbon is strong in the nose w/ a subtle ale fruitiness and boozy woody notes that accent the aroma
M - Very mild sweetness w/ a mild carbonation and gently chalky feel w/ nutty vanilla oaky wood textures and smooth finish that practically falls flat
T - The bourbon smell carries over into the taste w/ a mostly light ale flavor and subtle fruity tinges w/ a vanilla bourbon oak taste w/ a beer flavor that really has a meek demeanor in relation to the Bourbon oakiness that accents it almost dominates it. There is a slight hop/vegetal note and possible adjunct type sweetness in the flavor, an overall light ale taste that seems out of porportion in relationship to the sweetness in the bourbon.
D - I enjoyed the bourbon flavor in this , but one or two seems like more than enough. This ale just falls short of great and allows the bourbon aging to manhandle the flavor while making the beer seem light. It isn't the best wood aged beer, but it is worth a try
05-20-2008 23:44:57 | More by Slatetank
4.25/5 rDev +15.8%
This was a tough one to get. It was originally only on tap available in growlers only, but this winter they decided to add it to a gift pack with bottles. Thanks a bunch to Noslenwerd for going out of his way to get me this one. Unfortunately the glass that came in the sampler pack broke in the trip here, but at least the beer made it. I'm excited to try it, despite the B rating.
A: A very light fluffy head forms and disperses just as fast. It's a very clear pale golden color with a little orange.
N: Nose is actually pretty sweet, with a very bourbon barrel characteristic. It reminds me of when I went to a couple distilleries in KY and the basic aroma you get from nosing the actual barrels when they are opened, minus the crazy bourbon aroma. It's a little creamy and fruity, but mostly just a great bourbon aroma. Not much on the way of beer yet.
T: Taste actually starts with a slight malty flavor, but mostly is again bourbon. Tastes like a nice light and smooth bourbon with much less alcohol. It has some clear woody esthers as well, and an obvious oak taste. More of that fresh from the barrel bourbon flavor. It also has a little fruitiness, and some more sweet almost honey like flavors. It still hides the 8%abv well though. The bourbon and woody flavors come out even more as it warms. I recommend letting it warm a bit. With all the flavors, and bourbon especially, it's still really smooth.
M: Semi thin, more than I expected, and very little carbonation.
F: Finishes a little sweet still, and even has a touch of creaminess. It has some woody esthers that linger, as well as some oak. Not much lingering on the bourbon flavor. A little bitterness starts to come through, but more from the esthers than hops. It doesn't last long before your mouth is clean and ready for more.
Being a big bourbon fan, the fresh bourbon and oak flavors of this really impress. The beer side is a little flat and the lack of carbonation in a light ale is a little hard to get by. But how much great bourbon flavor this has, and even seems to have a little of the sweet bourbon mash and woody esthers, I really enjoyed it.
01-31-2010 21:56:58 | More by jlindros
3.73/5 rDev +1.6%
Thanks to the BAer who brought this to our Nov. '12 Philly 'burbs bottle share.
I was told this comes from a land where you can order Bud, Miller Lite, or Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. So yay, for this. Poured a clear, honey-brown color with a thin bubbly white head that didn't stick around for too long. Aroma of caramel malts, bourbony oak, toffee. It's always interesting to taste a bourbon-aged beer that isn't a stout or porter, and it really works for this beer, which would probably otherwise be a simple, timid, English ale. Pale malts, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, bourbon and vanilla; pretty much nothing as far as hoppiness goes. Medium body, fairly smooth and creamy, slick with booze but not harsh or hot, lower carbonation. Yeah, it was different, and it was good.
11-06-2012 09:33:51 | More by Rifugium
3.43/5 rDev -6.5%
I'm going to try to do better at guessing what I'm drinking than I did with the first bottle. Beer#2. A blinded 12oz. bottle poured into a goblet.
Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy reddish amber with a small layer of off white head. The head fades to a ring around the edge of the glass and doesn't leave much lacing. 3
Smell: This is getting interesting. I'm hit with a slightly fruity sourness right away. There is some sweet malt as well. I feel like I'm picking up some pineapple and maybe some red wine. 3
Taste: The sourness from the smell definitely shows up here as well. I'm picking up some red wine notes here too. The flavor is slightly buttery with some butterscotch in the finish. Along with the sourness, there is a slight bitterness that magnifies the wine like flavor in the finish. 3.5
Mouthfeel: The body is medium with smooth and tingly carbonation. The finish is quite dry. 4
Overall: This was an interesting beer. I would guess that it was wine barrel aged. Not real sure on the style, something with some wild yeast? 3.5
01-08-2012 03:47:50 | More by oline73
3.95/5 rDev +7.6%
From 03/27/11 notes. Shared by Thorpe429 at a local DC tasting. Bottle says "Official Beer of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games"...awesome that they chose an 8.19% ABV bourbon barrel aged beer as their official beer.
a - Pours a clear golden color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks nothing like an American strong ale; I was shocked how light in color it was.
s - Smells of heavy bourbon, vanilla, bready malts, light oak. Pretty enjoyable.
t - Tastes of light bourbon, oak, vanilla, bready malts, wheat. Bourbon is up front in the taste, but not as strong as the nose.
m - Light body and moderate carbonation. For a bourbon barrel aged beer that is over 8% ABV, this one was insanely drinkable. I would have had no problem drinking the entire bottle myself.
o - Overall this was an interesting bourbon barrel aged beer that I enjoyed and thought worked well. I don't think it is an American strong ale, but more like a light beer aged in bourbon barrels. None the less something I would like to have again sometime.
04-01-2011 15:11:20 | More by mdfb79
4/5 rDev +9%
Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!
Pours bright, clear copper with a thin head that becomes a thin cover. Some lacing follows down the glass.
The smell is of bourbon whiskey. Vanilla and oak really stand out. Caramel/toffee backs it up.
The taste is of bourbon. The vanilla and oak are quite strong. Caramel shows a firm maltiness. A light touch of earthy bitterness balances some of the sweetness. Whiskey hangs on well into the aftertaste.
It's on the full side of medium with medium carbonation.
Alcohol is reasonably well-covered, but this is still a sipping, one at a sitting brew for me. Nice bourbon character. Barrel aging well-done.
06-22-2008 18:54:47 | More by jwc215
3.48/5 rDev -5.2%
Low level head that leaves little lace. The color is a perfect neutral amber and is crystal clear.
More earthy than anything else. There's a bit of sweetness that reminds me of molasses.
This is a sweet ale. Again, molasses seems to be the strongest flavor. If there is bitterness, it is overwhelmed by the malt sugars. Not complex. Very rich body--low carbonation.
11-06-2011 21:16:15 | More by smcolw
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,891 ratings.