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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

558 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 558
Hads: 2,546
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 16.21%
Wants: 144
Gots: 694 | 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: 558 | Hads: 2,546
Photo of julian89
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

4/27/2012
Got a growler of this from work at Hop City.
Poured from growler into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear honey color with a half inch head no lacing, decent retention. Bubbling is seen through the glorious translucent amber.

Smell: Vanilla and coconut dominate. Bourbon smell of sweet butterscotch. Last I smell earthly notes of smoked oak.

Taste: The progression... smooth bourbon and malty taste, then I received a strong medium bodied vanilla and coconut taste, then the earthly feel on the back end.

Mouthfeel: A medium to soft bodied feel with watery flow. Decent carbonation from a growler.

Drinkability: Very good taste and smell. It is a very pretty beer. I will say it's downfall if mouthfeel and it could be a bit stronger due to it's ~8% ABV but alas. It still gets a fairly high rating from me. (825 characters)

Photo of Bierlerner
4.19/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle and into a KBBA snifter

A- pours a very crisp, clear golden caramel color. A bright white head of 1 finger bubbles up fast and then almost as fast clears away. From appearance it looks a bit thin. When drinking, little splotches of lacing are left behind.

S- nice and light bourbon aroma. Faint hints of oak. Butter.

T- At first sip, it tasted of a watered down bourbon. But once warmed and sipped more, it blossomed into much more balance. Bourbon, oak, a hint of lemon peel. And a very pleasant creamy caramel and butterscotch through out as well. Not very complex, but very pleasant and very well balanced.

M- my one complaint, the mouthfeel is a bit thin. Could use some more body and perhaps more carbonation.

O- overall a fantastic after dinner nightcap, which is why I'm looking past the light body. Would stock in reserve lol (862 characters)

Photo of rmalinowski4
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my bells snifter. Received as an extra from Preismj. Thanks Matt.

Pours a clear bourbon brown with a half finger of off white head. The head recedes quickly leaving a ring of lacing on the glass. You can see the bubles dance up the glass.

Smell is bourbon and sweet malt, there are no hops on the nose. Bourbon, vanilla, and sweat, bready malt. Smells like an after dinner drink.

Taste is vanilla, bourbon, oak, and malt. The vanilla hits in the front followed almost immediately by the bourbon and oak. The finish is bready malt that lingers on the palate with some of the oak. The flavors are strong and a little overpowering. If you like bourbon, you will like this beer.

Mouthfeel is on the heavier side of medium. The carbonation is moderate, just about right for the mouthfeel.

Overall, I like this beer. I like bourbon and vanilla, and that is what this beer is about. It is not a very complex beer, which is why I didn't rate it higher. Thanks again Matt for this very nice beer. (1,016 characters)

Photo of gratefuld
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale brown with minimal head. Decent enough.

S: Hints of vanilla

T: Soft taste with a pretty heavy vanilla aftertaste. You can taste the bourbon aging. The taste was not nearly as strong though as I anticipated. I really like this one.

M: Low carbonation with a nice soft feel on the palate.

O: I really like this beer. It exceeded my expectations. (355 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 MCDuhamel
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass at around 45F. The beer looks like a pale ale; dark gold/light orange, perfectly clear, with moderate carbonation. The head is a loose white foam that falls to a thin cap. No lacing. The nose is very big, with vanilla highly dominant and bourbon pretty hidden; nothing else shows through. Flavor is vanilla again, with a bit of honey-like sweetness and some graininess toward the finish. There's a dulce de leche like quality to the beer; a mild, buttery caramel. Interestingly, while the beer is generally sweet, the finish dries out a bit, and prickly carbonation balances the beer. Hops don't play much of a role with this one; none in the nose, none in the flavor, and the bittering appears to be just enough to prevent the beer from being cloying. It's not heavy on the tongue, and the alcoholic heft doesn't make itself noticed. Perhaps a bit out of balance, but an interesting drink just the same. (929 characters)

Photo of KELPAK
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A real nice beer to sit back and sip on amongst friends or watching a game. Has a real likeness to drinking a tumbler of bourbon which can be a great thing for some people but for me it was a little much.

Taste is on the sweet side but it is an enjoyable beer for the bourbon barrell enthusiest which there are a great deal of in my area. (339 characters)

Photo of BigDaddyWil
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to kmpitz2 for this sample.
Poured from a growler into a snifter glass.

For those of you who live in the Midwest, this beer reminds me Vernor's soda pop, not just in appearance but also in smell. I mean this tastes like bourbon flavored Vernor's pop. Crazy! Pours a clear brilliant golden color, looks like Southern Comfort. A nice half inch thick bright white head forms. No lacing is left behind. Big bourbon aromas, combined with vanilla, wood, and coconut. Very pleasing on the nose. Well balanced flavors of bourbon and beer. Both compliment each other well. Medium to light bodied and a nice smooth mouthfeel. This is way too easy to drink. I'm glad I have a growler of this stuff!! See ya in the emergency room! Thanks again, Kevin! (755 characters)

Photo of thebeers
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Leathery orange-brown color with a half-finger of white head. Wood, chocolate and caramel on the nose. Light-bodied in comparison to most barrel-aged beers, with good carbonation that really makes the caramel flavor pop. There's a definite, but light and easy-drinking, bourbon flavor to it. It's just a fun, quaffable beer. (327 characters)

Photo of TVolt1
3.06/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Golden, clear appearancewith small amount of white head.

S: bland smell with a hint of vanilla/creme.

T: i am not a fan. It tastes like a bland beer with a small amount of vanilla extract and bourbon.

M: Okay mouthfeel. Not very carbonated and a small to moderate thickness.

O: Overall, it's an alright beer. Not my fav and there isn't anything great about it. (367 characters)

Photo of mkotsayfan
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark copper with a finger of white head. The smell is appealing, lots of bourbon and dark fruits. The taste follows the aroma, with some grains and malts added. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation, and a crisp finish.

Not bad, just lacking characteristics that would make it great. The bourbon, vanilla, and oak notes are nice, but the base beer behind that just can't keep up. (449 characters)

Photo of Kbogac
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light caramel color with a nice one finger of creamy light foam.

Smell is oaky bourbon, vanilla and caramel. The bourbon and wood are very prominent.

Taste is a nice vanilla caramel with an oaky bourbon finish.

Medium heavy, creamy mouthfeel.

Overall very good. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. A little on the heavy side. I don't think I'd have two in a row but it was very good. (400 characters)

Photo of Crundy
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark amber, bourbon color, white foamy head and thin lacing

S: the bourbon smell hits you up front, next comes a pleasant sweetness that reminds me of banana bread and vanilla and some clove

T: Again the bourbon is prominent, the oakiness comes out more as well, some vanilla and a hint of hop bitterness and minimal malt presence.

M: very mellow and smooth but slightly dry on the finish, it has a subtle sweet aftertaste and it light bodied

O: very good beer, though a bit too sweet for me but not overly so. Very drinkable and very pleasant oaky bourbon flavors. If you don't like the strength and bite of bourbon but still like the associated flavors, this is a good beer for you. (697 characters)

Photo of icefisherman
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

well thanks go out ot greggy for this one it looks like beer great beer smells to me like a cheap chardony wine yuk! but taste like some one poored in a half shot of jim beam with like some medioker mild/amber but all in all not the worst i have had but kinda un impressive (273 characters)

Photo of slusk
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: This brew pours a thin white head. It is brilliantly clear with a copper/ orange color.

S: Oak and caramel dominate the nose with a spicy, woody note from the hops filling in the background. There's a bit of mild raisin. This reminds my of smelling an empty bourbon barrel.

T: The taste goes right along with the smell, a nice oaky flavor of the bourbon with the spicy notes of earthy hops in the background. There is a bit of alcohol burn and it tastes of a higher ABV than it actually has. The sweet caramel underpins the flavor profile, but the bourbon and oak is ever present.

M: It has a low/medium body with a lower carbonation that lets the bourbon shine.

O: This is a nice beer. The alcohol bite hits you early but it changes its character as you drink. Over all it's a nice beer that I wouldn't think twice about sipping on a cold winter night. (861 characters)

Photo of bobbyc881
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Friend of mine brought down a 4-pack of this as a wedding gift to me.

Pours out very clear-- copper in color. Nearly non-existent head. Smells slightly sweet and woody. Slight bourbon notes as well.

Taste is quite bourbon flavored. Sweet start, bourbon down the middle, and a bit alcoholy at the end. Definitely picking up some woody flavors as well. Seems more of a beer delivering a bourbon taste than a beer with bourbon nuances. Perhaps this might benefit from some aging?

Prickly carbonation, and rather thin mouthfeel versus my expectations. Quite smooth, though. I think a more full-bodied beer would carry that bourbon flavor better. Not sure I would drink more than 1 of these at a time -- mostly due to the rather strong bourbon taste, not so much the strength. (774 characters)

Photo of wescj
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

I like how the color is very bourbonish. Downside to appearance is the quickly vanishing head. I don't know much about the science of bourbon aging--maybe the process kills the head?

Smells good, malt blends with the bourbon very well. Reminds me of a sweet bourbon sauce you might pour on a dessert.

Bourbon taste comes out great, without overpowering the rest of the brew. Again, there's a good, caramelly malt backbone. The only beef I have with the beer is that the bourbon doesn't taste "blended" with the other characteristics of the beer. Like maybe someone put an ounce or so of bourbon in the glass right after I poured it. But I won't discount this one for it; it seems to be a pretty common characteristic among the lighter bourbon ales (ie, not stouts).

I gotta say, the bourbon gives this one an odd aftertaste. Pretty good besides that. (892 characters)

Photo of chaunur
4.49/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at Talbots Inn in Bardstown-Bourbon capital of the World.

Wow, Now I really love bourbon and have always been disappointed in the the "Bourbon Barrel" beers out there, it's like they just showed the the beer the barrel. But not this stuff. One whiff and you know you have the real thing.

Poured a very nice clear medium light amber into a snifter. Off white, fluffy 1/2" head the faded fairly quickly. Nice lingering lacing.

As I said one whiff and you know what you have. A very strong but not overpowering presence of Bourbon, vanilla, carmel, oak tones and slighly woodsy. It reminded me of the Angels share in a Bourbon warehouse.

The aroma was right with the flavor, again the bourbon was present but not overpowering. Maybe just a tad sweet and a little heavy on the tongue. Some heat in the mouth from the high alcohol content. It is most defintely a sipping beer.

We had just finished touring and sampling at 3 Bourbon distilleries, Jim Beam, Heaven Hill and Markers Mark when we hit Talbots for dinner and drinks, A Hot Brown and Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale were the perfect finish to the day!

Overall this one of my favorites. (1,149 characters)

Photo of LucienDeRubempre
3.44/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a thin red with little head and lacing, and without the thick syrupy look that usually goes with bourbon barrel aged and high ABV beers in general. Lots of bourbon in the nose, some malts. Big bourbon taste, but leaves you a little disappointed in the malts department, too light and undemanding for the bourbon flavor. The low carbonation isnt balanced by a full mouthfeel, seems almost flat. Easily the most drinkable bourbon barrel aged, but is that really a good thing?

An interesting experiment, basically this is your session bourbon barrel aged ale. Overall for me the base beer, sort of a malty amber, is too weak and really takes a beating from the bourbon, leaving you with a watered down glass of bourbon. (723 characters)

Photo of KYBrewgrass
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a KY Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter obtained at a Pazzo's Pint Night years ago... I remember not liking this beer the first time I had it, but oh how my tastes have changed! This is now one of my favorite go-to locals...

A- 4 Pours an attractive, clear burnt orange / amber color with a one finger fluffy white head. The head lacks retention as it dies down quickly but there's a nice ring left around the edges and the tiniest of bubbles lace the glass smoothly.

S- 4.5 Caramel, malt, bourbon and wood... In no particular order. Just balanced and pure. The oak makes its presence felt as much as anything, and the rest composes a nice sweetness that has me itching to raise the glass... The snifter is worthwhile here because there really is some good stuff going on.

T- 4 Though I generally detect the same elements in its taste as I did from the aroma, the taste is notably sweeter and not quite as balanced. That said, it is quite good. I get a bit more caramel and bourbon here, with just a touch of oak on the finish. Though it has a respectable ABV, it is just barely detectable at the end of the drink.

M- 4 KBBA is medium in body with a smooth creaminess that is quite manageable. It is heavier on the palate than I expected from its appearance. It has a good level of carbonation. It is a little syrupy on the finish, with the slightest bit of heat from the alcohol.

D- 4 I really enjoy this beer and could put down a few of them. I don't think I could do it all night because it is a little sweeter than I prefer ideally. Regardless, this is an enjoyable ale with a bourbon presence that fits in nicely. I'd definitely recommend trying this if you enjoy bourbon brews or are visiting KY where you can easily find it in bottles or draft. It also blends well with Guinness, ala a 'black and tan,' and is known as a 'black barrel.' It is a succulent combination... Cheers to Lex-Vegas and the growing popularity of KBBA! (1,941 characters)

Photo of manfromanotherplace
2.92/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

seems like anyone can drop beer in bourbon barrels and try to sell it as top market stuff.pretty mediocre to be fair.not much barrel presence at all in this beer. (162 characters)

Photo of busterwhite
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden color with a one finger head. A little bit of lacing on the glass.

Nose is straight vanilla.

Tastes is sweet, sweet vanilla and bourbon. No real hop flavor.

Light on carbonation but nice and creamy.

Overall its a little sweet for me. A definite sipper full of vanilla and bourbon. (300 characters)

Photo of GoldHorde
3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I favor my memories of bourbon - hey, even the lost ones! I am favoring this new craft of using old bourbon casks/barrels to enhance beers. Usually this crafty enhancement is pronounced on the sturdy styles of beers: stouts and porters. This particular one is applied on a what could be categorized as a Brown or Belgian Ale style. The amber color predicts nothing of it's flavor. Someone mentioned vanilla - oh yeah - like a VANILLA WOMP. It is predicted in the aroma BUT it kicks you with a BIG Li'l Abner vanilla boot. The flavor is WAY TOO unusualy present in the beer to be ignored as a character when it is too busy banging you over the head with a mallet. It is like when you have a restaurant chain franchise meal and notice a preservative flavor that reminds you it isn't real food. The vanilla masks any memory of bourbon. IF YOU LIKE vanilla Coke - THIS is the beer for you. The beer is just TOO vanilla for me. (922 characters)

Photo of mdunman
3.52/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark amber with a pretty good head and some linger

S: Maltiness with a strong bourbon note

T: Bourbon takes over and doesn't let go. There is some malt and hoppiness in there, but it's drowned out by the bourbon

M: Medium body, good carbonation

First couples sips of this are pretty incredible. After that it's a tough drink to finish, there is simply too much bourbon flavor. It was good, but once was enough for me. (424 characters)

Photo of mdr4669
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App: Rich honey gold color with minimal foamy white head. Tons of tiny bubble float from the bottom up to the surface, with patchy lacing.

Smell: The scent is dominated by the sweet caramel and vanilla characteristic of a good bourbon.

Taste: The taste follows the scent, the strongest characteristic is the taste of bourbon. I also notice a nice hint of vanilla a bit of some caramel as well.

MF: Very light and easy going with a warm after taste, and a nice kick for the finale.

Overall: A well crafted ale with all the bark, and bite I was looking for. I will definitely have this beer again. (601 characters)

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
82 out of 100 based on 558 ratings.