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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale | Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
82
good
600 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
600
Ratings:
2,742
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
39.78%
 
 
Wants:
146
Gots:
866
For Trade:
8
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
Kentucky, United States | website

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.19%

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.

Added by SheepNutz on 07-13-2004

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 600 | Ratings: 2,742
Photo of ArchimedesSox
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light brown amber, honey color, dense off white head, good lacing

S: Butterscotch, booziness, vanilla

T: Butterscotch right up front, vanilla comes in, oak flavors

M: Medium, heat from the alcohol

O: I got a lot of flavors associated with bourbon but the taste did not scream bourbon to me. A good beer none the less.

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.84/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Chicago 1/8/16 (Sweetwater - Draft poured into snifter glass) Dark orange/copper pour, minimal head which quickly dissipated and mild carbonation. Bourbon aroma, with hints of caramel. Enjoyed the malt and mild bourbon taste, stronger ABV not noticed. Smooth and easy going down, texture dry.

Overall very good beer and I'm glad I tried a few.

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Photo of ixodus
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to auroracrisis for providing this in a trade.

A: Pours golden amber in color with a small white head that dissipates quickly into foam just covering the surface leaving no lacing.

S: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, bread, small trace of alcohol.

T: The barrel is on the main stage in this one. Oak, vanilla, and bourbon in the forefront, and bready caramel in the back. Quite smooth and not very hot, easy drinking,

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation and a little bit of warming from the alcohol. Could have been a little more full.

O: Overall it's definitely the most easy to drink bourbon barrel beer I've ever had. My glass went empty fast. If it were available here I'd definitely pick some up.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a four-pack at my local Stein's Liquor to split with my dad, who really enjoys this one. No discernible bottled on date. Poured at cellar temperature into my Red Eye pint glass.

L: Pours a pale copper with about a quarter-inch of off-white head that dissipates quickly into an almost nonexistent film which leaves almost no lacing on the glass. Crystal-clear, with moderate visible carbonation.

S: Sweet caramel malts are present, as well as some distinctive vanilla and bourbon notes. Just a bit of earthiness--it's a predominantly sweet bouquet.

T: Sweet caramel malt flavors right up front. A bit of breadiness in there, as well. Rather quickly, the bourbon flavor begins to assert itself, though it's not accompanied by any clear alcohol or warming properties. The middle also sees a bit of the vanilla coming through. There's a bit of a red wine sensation near the back end, which doesn't necessarily clash with the bourbon notes. The close has more of the caramel malt and vanilla sweetness, with the bourbon flavor riding things out. A slight bitterness rises in the aftertaste.

F: Medium-bodied, though probably on the lighter side of that categorization. It's crisp at the front and a bit creamy in the middle, aided by a nice level of carbonation. This one doesn't have any stick to it and finishes quite cleanly.

O: This is a pretty tasty brew, given what it purports to be. I wish there was a little more heat from the bourbon, and the malt profile could be a little more engaging. That being said, it's quite drinkable for a beer with this high an ABV, and it will probably please a lot of casual fans of bourbon-flavored anything. But at this price point ($10 for a four-pack), I'm not likely to return to it any time soon.

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Photo of ByTor2112
3.79/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nice to see a Triad Ba has tried this recently. Picked mine up in Bardstown back in June when I went to Maker's Mark Distillery!
Poured a golden color-like clover honey. Very thin head that dissipated.
Aroma-Smells like Maker's Mark with vanilla notes and whiff of caramel.
Mouthfeel-sweet like a Bourbon and ginger ale, very little hop bitterness but they are detectable.A froth on the palate elicits the alcohol. Tasty but I would like a bolder malt backbone to go with the very good bourbon flavor. The 7% can be felt not too long after finishing this one. Does not look like much when poured but it has a nice sweet bourbon flavor and it finishes clean. Wish i could have found a big flip-top jug like the one in the picture.

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Photo of Retroman40
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a snifter (as recommended by the brewer).

A - Poured out a very clear light copper color with a small but good head.

S - Definite bourbon tones along with malt and grains.

T - Malt with hints of vanilla and oak.

M - Good carbonation, but perhaps just a little thin.

O - I like this one because the bourbon flavors seem to work with the beer, not fight it. It's not like simply pouring some bourbon into a beer as the flavors seem well intertwined with each other. If you go for this type of beer this is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: Amber color, with minimal head that fades fast
S: smells like sweet alcohol and funky beer
T: reminds me of flat sweet wine. Likes it's been left in the glass overnight.
F: thin and watery.
O: not going to get again

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Photo of DJoe
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Meh. Had from a bottle, poured into a pint glass. There was very little about this that could be called distinctive other than the moderate vanilla flavor. Never tasted any bourbon or oak traits.

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Photo of Merkur
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this on tap at Drake's, a new KY based resteraunt that has opened an outpost in the Nashville area.

While a huge, huge fan of bourbon barrel aged beers (stouts especially, and who isn't), this was a bit of a let down.

This beer was served in a Kentucky Brewery snifter glass. It poured a dark amber color. Much lighter than I would have thought.

Like most good bourbon barrel aged brews, this had your usual vanilla and booze smell.

The beer tasted very strongly of the bourbon. While a good stout will pair well and not have this taste overpower the beer, for this beer it was definately in forefront.

The overall mouthfeel was much ligher than I would have imagined. Much more like a brown ale.

Overall this beer has good flavor, but by the end the flavor felt a bit played out.

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Photo of JAFoley
3.09/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - crystal-clear pale amber body with bubbly white head.

S - smoky bourbon musty and sugary

T - subdued bourbon and spices amidst tangy fruits. Flavors are weak and drop off fast

M - medium/light body with moderate/light carbonation.

O - not a beer I'd drink again. Weak flavors and body, not a big fan.

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Photo of Aenema
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a bright, clear amber with a short-lived 1.5 finger soapy off-white head with very little lacing.
Smell - Bourbon, vanilla and caramel.
Taste - Lots of vanilla and sweet caramel - almost a caramel apple flavor - and bourbon.
Mouthfeel - Light-medium body; a little thin and watery with light carbonation. The carbonation begins at a moderate pace but runs out of steam relatively quickly.
Drinkability - Surprisingly drinkable, though the sweetness of this beer prevents it from being a beer to have more than 12 ozs of.
Overall - A very interesting beer that is a nice change of pace.

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Photo of mmmbeer89
2.83/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

i'm not a fan of bourbon so i wasn't expecting this beer to taste great...but it actually has a good taste until the bourbon after taste which brings it down some to me. it's smooth and not a bad buy if you wanna different style beer to try.

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Photo of shippos
4.22/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

courtesy of clvand0

poured froma growler with a dense pure white head sitting on top of a clear brillant light amber body. soft vanillian notes mixed cream and whiskey but without the harsh hot alcohol. mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, as far as the base beer is concerned it's needs some more body. a bit of a subtile malt character. aging this in boubon barrels really brings out the flavors of the barrels without the base beer getting in the way. absolutly fantastic.

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Photo of E-McFarden
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours pale amber in color, crystal clear. First scents at a distance bring sweet oaky vanilla certainly reminding me of bourbon, then comes the hops and caramel malts. The taste is well balanced and brings the drinker just the right amount of oaky bourbon flavors to balance the malt profile. The alcohol is surprisingly not overpowering considering the subtle flavors. Finishes smooth and dry. I'm surprised this beer isn't getting higher ratings, I would definitely say that if you're drinking this one right out of the fridge you're missing out on the nice flavors and aromas. I like it.

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Photo of Spidey13
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale pours a clear, copper color with a thin white head. The nose has a lot of bourbon on it, with some hints of vanilla and oak.

The flavor is malty with some of the vanilla coming through and more bourbon flavor. There is a bit of mild bitterness on the otherwise quick finish. The mouthfeel is a bit thin with low carbonation.

This is a pretty fun beer to try. Most bourbon barrel beers I've had have been porters and stouts, whose strong beer flavor leave the bourbon as only a small accent. Due to this having a milder flavored base beer, the bouron is allowed to really come out, for better or worse.

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Photo of MDekker
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight from my brother in Lexington, KY! Pours out light brown, clearly filtered, with a disappointingly small head. It smells sweet, like alcohol, bourbon, and orange. Naturally, there's bourbon in the flavor, which makes it quite unique. The hops at the end are just enough to balance the sweetness, but don't do any more than that. Overall, it's different, but good. In the mouth it's actually quite smooth, and has a slight and satisfying aftertaste. Went down easy, althogh the slightly higher alcohol was noticable.

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Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: golden amber in color, poured into a flute with a very minimal pure white head. little to no lacing to speak of.
S: holy sweet bourbon. the smell is so intense, and i love it. vanilla and toffee notes mingle, but its really just huge SWEET bourbon. i cant emphasize enough how strong it is. the toffee thats mixed in makes an excellent second fiddle, but i could see how some may see it as too much.
T: pretty pleased with the full flavor. sugary bourbon, toffee, cloves, delicious. vanilla bean.
M: its lighter than i initially thought it would be. it comes across almost a little watery, as much as i hate to say it. not up front, but in the backend it lets up just a little bit. flavor is still there, maybe a
little more carbonation would buff it up a little bit.
D: its delicious, and i love this take on a bourbon barrel beer, so id drink them till they were gone. unfortinately i only have one!

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Photo of Buschyfor3
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving: 12oz bottle served in my Sam Adams perfect pint glass (review from notes earlier in 2014)

A: Amber body with good clarity; pour produces a 1.5 finger thick off-white colored head; retention is decent; clingy lacing down the side of the glass.

S: First whiff reveals the barrel character – slight wood character, some vanilla, a hearty dose of that familiar caramel/butterscotch sweetness from Kentucky bourbon, and just a flash of the boozy alcohol that awaits. Interestingly, I don’t get much from the underlying ale – nothing from the hops, no bitterness, not much of the malt profile.

T: Bourbon presence is strongly felt from the start – flashes of oak, vanilla, and butterscotch all compete for your attention; next the flavors turn to a buttered toast and nutty quality – there is the underlying English ale finally breaking through the barrel character; a flash of heat from the alcohol from the bourbon quickly reminds your palate who is really in charge; finish reintroduces that butterscotch sweetness, and it lingers well after each sip, competing with a growing, glowing burn from the alcohol.

M: Medium-bodied, nice slickness though not overly sticky/syrupy.

O: Compared to the Kentucky Ale, this is miles ahead. Barrel aging adds a some character to the beer – a lot more flavor on the palate and a quite a bit of oomph to the overall package, but at the expense of really overpowering the underlying ale. At 8+% ABV, the booze is present the entire time, and borders on being hot, so drinkability is likely limited to a bottle or two at most.

If I were out somewhere and faced with the choice between Alltech's two most popular offerings, I’d pick the BBA over the standard Kentucky Ale every time. However, most establishments that carry this on draft/bottle lists seem to have a better than average selection of similarly situated craft offerings, and I would probably go there first unless I was really in the mood for something barrel aged with a bit of kick. Still, a decent BBA offering, especially for the price.

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Photo of Hopscat
3.99/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber color with little head. Server in a small snifter @ John Barleycorns in Chicago. Nose is definitely bourbon with some vanilla and caramel hints. Smells delicious.
Taste follows with bourbon up front and mild smoked and vanilla- caramel malts in mid-palate and bourbon and alcohol burn asserting itself in the end. Not overwhelming for me . Can understand how some can be put off by the bourbon- but really, it's in the Name !
Overall this is a well made beer for the type . Will seek this out again.

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Photo of crashdavisinoh
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Dark Amber...redish...no head

S-Sweetness, bourbon, malts, caramel

T-Bourbon...very smooth...love the way this tastes...the bourbon is the star but the supporting cast is not completely overshadowed. Sweet flavors...caramel, vanilla, hint of chocolate perhaps.

M-Low carbonation...feel the bourbon...smooth

D-I love this beer...it is one of my standard off the shelf favorites (if not favorite)...they ABV will catch up to you but I have no problem drinking mulitples.

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Photo of bmeehan
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I wish I had drank this sooner after I bought it, but regardless, it's still a beer that can be appreciated. It pours a beautiful golden brown and there is a faint aftertaste of bourbon, but its scent is almost non existent and compared to other ales aged in bourbon barrels, this one is forgettable.

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Photo of Gryphon69
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2013 bottle

A- Coppery in color, clear. Lots of small carbonation bubbles, nice clean small white head with decent lacing up the sides.

S- Very light bourbon smell. A slight sweetness in the nose.


T- Pretty clean and simple with some mild but noticeable bourbon. A certain sweetness that is hard to place.. maybe something like sour apple.

F- Nice body, pretty smooth and slick. Medium to high carbonation, little bubbles like champagne.

O- Not sure of the overly negative feed backs, If you do not like bourbon why rate a bourbon beer? The bourbon is light and not overpowering, decent flavor and easy to drink. It does have a certain sweetness in the finish. Average and simple, would think a good beginner bourbon beer.

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Photo of smalenberg
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - lovely amber with slightly beige head

S - Woodiness from the barrel aging, bourbon and malty sweetness combine. Bourbon comes through stronger as the beer rests and hints of alcohol strength.

T - very flavorful malty sweetness with caramel and candy notes followed quickly by the strength of the bourbon.

M - smooth with a bite of alcohol, the body seems light at first, but as the bourbon makes its presence know, it moves quickly to medium. Some alcohol warmth, but not unpleasant. Long lingering bourbon sweetness on the palate.

O - Really glad I've had the opportunity to taste the base amber used to make this beer, which is good in its own right. The bourbon barrel aging takes it up a few notches. Very well done and well worth a try if you appreciate bourbon.

In a Duvel glass.

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Photo of Groomsy
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with "bottled on" date of Nov. 15 2010. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Poured a very transparent and clear light red/amber, basically the same as a Kentucky Ale. However, there was zero head (only a collar of bubbles) and zero lacing. Occasional carbonation bubbles rise, more so when the glass is swirled for agitation. When I first poured it, I thought I got a bad batch, or maybe I just didn't pour it vigorously enough. Beautiful color, though.

Aroma: Big hit of sweet bourbon on the nose is immediate, followed by some vanilla, woody accents, and a subtle malt backing from the Kentucky Ale. I wish they could make a candle after this beer; I would keep it lit in my house all day long, haha. The bourbon and vanilla become much more pronounced as the beer warms. Very promising aroma for this one.

Taste: The bourbon takes the largest part in taste; very sweet with a substantial amount of warming from the alcohol. As the beer warms, more of the malt flavors emerge, as well as the mentioned hints of vanilla and smoky wood. Maybe a little too sweet for its own good, but certainly a great-tasting beer to sip on slowly and enjoy. My only issue with the taste here is that it could be a little more "together"; at certain points, especially after the beer warmed, I felt like the bourbon and beer taste were playing tug of war: Bourbon at the front, beer in the back. Other than that, very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: More or less the same as regular Kentucky Ale, minus the carbonation (which Kentucky Ale didn't have a lot of in the first place). A little too thin for its own good, but suitable for the "sipping" nature of the beer.

Drinkability: The alcohol, although noticeable, is fairly well masked by the other flavors in the beer, and this makes it a dangerously drinkable beer. The sweet malts and bourbon characteristics make it a sweet and delicious dessert beer. That being said, if you drink more than two of these, you'll be feeling it; the alcohol creeps up slowly.

Like others, although this beer is great, I wish that Alltech would use a different base beer to age; Kentucky Ale isn't bad, but it's certainly not what one would think to use as an aging candidate. The aging process really stepped up the beer's game substantially, though. I'm proud to drink this and would go after it again.

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Photo of Vierenner
4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic beer. Had many times on tap and in bottle form before writing this review. You have to want to taste vanilla in your beer to like it. It's buttery smooth and unique -- I wish I had another beer to compare it to but I've found none. There's a magic formula here that will be duplicated ... eventually.

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 600 ratings.