1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

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

2,050 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,050
Reviews: 512
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 18.53%
Wants: 92
Gots: 319 | FT: 5
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,050 | Reviews: 512 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bamadog
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked some of this up for a trade with Mkroadrush and thought I'd give it a shot as well since I've never had it. Poured from the bottle into a snifter. Review is from notes taken on 11/30/09.

Appearance: Pours a peachy/coppery color; starts with a short 1/2 finger head that fades immediately to nothing but a thin whisp of a skim and a ring of bubbles on the surface; body has the slightest haze to it and shows no carbonation; just a few spots of lacing.

Smell: Hints of bourbon, wood and sweet vanilla; slight tart fruitiness way in the back -- interesting nose, but not very potent; slight whiff of alcohol starts to become present as it warms.

Taste: Much like the nose, there's a definite sweetness from vanilla and oakiness; mild bourbon flavor combines with the mild tart-like fruitiness that's a little acidic; very slight hint of alcohol that becomes more prominent as it warms.

Mouthfeel: nearly no carbonation, but what's there is a tad sharp; body is a little thin and feels a tad slick and oily; gums are left tingly; slight coating on teh tongue; belly is left warm; body is is not very lively, but I find this is sometimes the case with barrel-aged offerings.

Drinkability: Not too bad - flavors are alright, but not especially potent; ABV is a bit high, but too much of a punch that I probably couldn't force my way through two, but no more than that.

bamadog, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of rowingbrewer
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

rowingbrewer, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of roadhouse
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

roadhouse, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of rudabegga9
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

rudabegga9, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of crbnfbr
3/5  rDev -18.3%

crbnfbr, Aug 09, 2013
Photo of wcudwight
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber in color with some yellow and golden highlights. Scant fizzy head but that's to be expected given the style. It kind of looks like bourbon.
Smells of bourbon with hints of oak burning in a woodstove. The aroma is not as strong as I expected.
Bourbon flavored. Suprise! There's also hints of vanilla and maybe coconut. Again for a barrel aged beer it's kind of mild. It's still complex and tasty though. This beer's almost suductive in it's flavor profile.
Lighter in body than most of the style but this doesn't detract from the overall experience of drinking the beer.
Nice beer that I'm glad I've had the oppurtunity to try, thanks to Grafton.

wcudwight, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of craytonic
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear bright amber with a nice off-white head. Guess they don't make the cool bottle pictured on BA anymore; came in a 12oz-er.

Smell: sweet almost milky creaminess with some faint bourbon

Taste: First sip tastes like whiskey and water (not necessarily a bad thing). After that, it I get tons of brown sugar, caramel and vanilla with a nice smooth bourbon backdrop and a bit of french oak.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth and creamy; a bit light which really just bumps the drinkability up.

Drinkability: Had to make myself not gulp it. This one isn't incredibly complex and is not a "big" beer (despite the unnoticeable 8.19% ABV) but it is tasty and enjoyable. That said, there is always a bit of branch and bourbon element to it.

craytonic, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of IndyDad
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

IndyDad, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of HoppySeb
3/5  rDev -18.3%

HoppySeb, Sep 18, 2014
Photo of RichH55
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

RichH55, Dec 11, 2012
Photo of drtth
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard Shaker-style glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out a clear dark golden color with ½" white head that soon recedes to thin film and a small ring around the glass. Sipping leaves a light lacing but the lacing is mostly gone by about half way through the beer.

Smell: The aroma is soft and filled with the coconut, vanilla and oak of the bourbon cask with some hints of faint caramel from the malt. There is no sign of any hops here.

Taste: The flavor here is all about the bourbon barrel with active support from the malts in the ale. There is coconut and vanilla as expected from the aroma. This is layered over the sweet caramel malt that provides a nice backbone. The flavor is almost too sweet but somehow seems quite right and I suspect having the hops play a more active role would be a mistake.

Mouthfeel: The mounthfeel is medium bodied to light bodied, with moderate carbonation that becomes very faint and hard to detect well before the end of the beer. The finish is medium length and is soft and sweet with no hops detectable. (Seems to me that it is in the finish where a bit of dry bittering effect from the hops would be nice to prepare one for the next sip.)

Drinkability: This is a sipping beer and it is easy to let one sip follow another, but it is also a one per evening type beer because of the sweetness of the malt and bourbon character of the beer. As an example of bourbon barrel aging this is a very nice beer that illustrates well that such aging need not be restricted to Stouts and Barleywines. The bourbon barrel comes through clearly and adds a nice aroma, flavor and character to the ale.

drtth, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of millelacsmark
4/5  rDev +9%

millelacsmark, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of Beertracker
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Alltech's Lexington Brewing Co. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is best served at cool, cellar temperatures (40-50°F) and enjoyed from a traditional old-fashioned glass or brandy snifter.This regular offering from LBC pours up surprisingly light with enough carbonation to keeps things lively with a lacy white head that sits atop the dusty orangish-ocher body. The intoxicating aroma is just decadent of rich, warm bourbon notes with woody, vanilla undertones. There's also some light, fruity/citrusy hop accenuated notes with the faintest of oxidative notes which adds to the overall complexity. The flavor starts off rather dissapointing with only a fraction of the richness implied from the nose. The flavor eventually gains momentum with some nice cracker toastiness from the continental malts combined with the hop bitterness and lingering bourbon notes eventually combine to make this a rather enjoyable experience. The finish is dry & minerally with a slightly thin edged alcohol warmth. This medium bodied hand-crafted specialty from Kentucky is true to its origin and shouldn't be missed by beer fans. Try pairing this one with some traditional Burgoo and a few slices of freshly baked sourdough bread. How about a slice of Kentucky Pie or some Bourbon laced bread pudding for dessert. Don't forget to serve it with a sprig of mint. Here's to Old Kentucky!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Beertracker, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of deadliest
3/5  rDev -18.3%

deadliest, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of tykechandler
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

tykechandler, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of mikeg67
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Oxford, OH. Pours orange with a long lasting white head. Nose is of caramel, tropical fruit, vanilla and cacao. Body is medium, crisp. Taste is funky yeast, vanilla, alcohol, topical fruit, citrus, bourbon, and cacao. Finish is medium and semi-dry. Interesting brew.

mikeg67, Jun 28, 2012
Photo of denver10
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

denver10, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of Nunya
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Nunya, Oct 01, 2013
Photo of valkyre65
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

valkyre65, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of Nolen12
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Nolen12, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of hopley
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

hopley, May 26, 2013
Photo of mattcrill
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: Vanilla, oak, spicy undertones. No hop aroma. Clean fermentation character.

Appearance: Brilliantly clear amber pour with a sticky white head. Head retention is poor.

Flavor: More oak and woody notes. Faint biscuity malt background and some earthy hop bitterness. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, moderate-high carbonation, and slightly slick. A touch of astringency and warming alcohol on the back of the palate.

Overall impression: A clean, wood-aged ale. Not really sure what this beer would be without the bourbon and wood-aged character. Maybe an amber? Very one dimensional. Not a big fan of bourbon/barrel-aged beers and this does nothing to help that.

mattcrill, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of SFLpunk
2.65/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Purchased at Liquors 44, Northampton, MA. 12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Neck dated Oct, 13 2011, 13:48, 44-286. Trying this at the behest of a former client...here goes:

Pours a orange amber with very thin white head. Nose is a mix of orange peel, cinnamon, vanilla extra and toffee/caramel. But non of the items are very distinct.

Palate is very sharp with alcohol burn. Thin caramel extract, butterscotch schnapps (very boozy), butterscotch and fusel/alcohols all over the place.

This beer is a train-wreck. A huge mess of butterscotch and booze. I can only assume that the Bros had a different batch than this one. Feels a lot like a marketing beer approach to barrel-aged beers. I think the AB Winters Cask is better than this.

SFLpunk, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of Rand_ale_Thor
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Rand_ale_Thor, Apr 16, 2014
Photo of Magery
4/5  rDev +9%

Magery, Nov 22, 2011
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,050 ratings.