1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.

1,891 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,891
Reviews: 499
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 18.26%
Wants: 83
Gots: 240 | FT: 3
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: 1,891 | Reviews: 499 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of litheum94


3.18/5  rDev -13.4%

12 oz bottle. August 18, 2011 stamped on the bottle. I can only assume this is a best by date, which seems a little odd for a barrel aged beer.

P: Clear amber body. Dirty white head, one finger thick. Settles down to a patchy cover with large bubbles.

A: Jack Daniel's whiskey aromas. Toffee and sweet taffy. Burnt caramel. Oak. Spicy hops. There's an almost artificial aroma. Buttered popcorn?

T: Vanilla, oak and bourbon flavors. The bourbon is a little hot, giving the impression that the barrels weren't of the highest quality. Some buttery malts. Cola flavors on the finish. No hop profile.

I vacillated between liking this beer and loathing it. It has some nice flavors, but the bourbon portion of it just tasted artificial and cheap. It was an interesting style to barrel age, and I have one more bottle, so my opinion may change. But at this point, I'm not overly impressed.

08-11-2011 04:23:45 | More by litheum94
Photo of millelacsmark


4/5  rDev +9%

11-17-2011 03:40:33 | More by millelacsmark
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

This one was a bit strange. Given to me by Ding, I poured it into my pint glass at a much colder temperature than I probably should have (about 6C / 41F).
It looked very uninviting, pouring a crystal clear orange colour with a snow white head about 8mm thick that *totally* faded away in about 15 seconds. So far, I'm not impressed. At all.
The smell, however, quickly changed this feeling. This is rife with bourbon! It smells as though someone took a nice ale, and poured in a shot of Knob Creek. Very strong, unmistakable presence of bourbon. There is also a sweet malt smell present, as well. No hops immediately detectable.
Taste? Weak whiskey, sweet malts, whiskey again, fire roasted grain (corn?), and in that order. Not absolutely delicious, but not bad, either. Good, decent, interesting to say the least.
Mouthfeel is very average. Not impressive, but not offensive, either.
Easily the most "liquor-like" beer/ale I have ever had. Thanks to Ding for allowing me the opportunity to try it.

11-11-2006 06:20:43 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of nzerbe

New York

3/5  rDev -18.3%

07-08-2013 22:07:35 | More by nzerbe
Photo of KeyWestGator


3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

05-04-2014 01:57:39 | More by KeyWestGator
Photo of gshackles

New York

4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

12-15-2012 03:29:17 | More by gshackles
Photo of GFD400

New York

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

08-20-2014 23:40:07 | More by GFD400
Photo of CWhite


4/5  rDev +9%

11-05-2012 14:19:38 | More by CWhite
Photo of Hoptometrist


3.23/5  rDev -12%

Served on tap into a snifter for the Winking Lizard's Glass of the Month

A- Poured a clear light amber color with very creamy head that left tons of chunky lace

S- Smells like bourbon and booze. Pretty powerful aroma

T- This tastes like drinking bourbon. Not picking up on much else, light vanilla notes. Strong alcohol presence.

M- Fuller bodied but not syrupy. Pretty high carbonation for what I was expecting. Strong alcohol presence and warming.

O- The bourbon flavors overwhelm this beer. A strong base beer would have helped balance out the bourbon, bourbon aged stouts seem to fare better than this bourbon aged pale ale/irish red. Not bad, but tastes just like bourbon. If you really like bourbon flavors this might be an easier drinking alternative to drinking it straight.

01-05-2012 04:10:38 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of EagleTalon


4.13/5  rDev +12.5%

Pours to a nice off white head and low lace. Amber color. Clear. Aroma is oak and bourbon dominant with vanilla. Flavor is much like a barleywine with a shot of the finest aged bourbon in it. Really. Mf is light and slight EtOH nip. Overall THE ultimate bourbon drinker's brew.

03-23-2012 03:27:36 | More by EagleTalon
Photo of adam42381


3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

01-26-2013 19:07:24 | More by adam42381
Photo of Ralphs66

New York

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

03-23-2013 00:05:04 | More by Ralphs66
Photo of hopkrid


3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

07-06-2014 01:33:31 | More by hopkrid
Photo of BostonHops


3.28/5  rDev -10.6%

12oz bottle served in a mug.

pours a clear, medium-light amber tone while yielding a finger or so of short lived head. not much lacing to speak of. nose is a bit more subdued than i was anticipating with subtle notes of caramel malt, a touch of vanilla and mild bourbon.

flavor mostly follows the aroma with caramel, vanilla, a little oak, and some - though not a lot of - bourbon. unique flavor profile, not what i expected. medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall, while it does have the uniqueness element going for it, in the final analysis it's an average beer - doesn't really work for me. it's not terrible, just not something i would seek out again. worth a try though.

(originally reviewed: 02-08-2012)

06-23-2012 04:33:44 | More by BostonHops
Photo of craftbeerasian


2.25/5  rDev -38.7%

07-25-2013 17:25:53 | More by craftbeerasian
Photo of JMS1512

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

03-09-2014 22:02:09 | More by JMS1512
Photo of Cloaked_Phantom


3/5  rDev -18.3%

07-19-2014 06:23:32 | More by Cloaked_Phantom
Photo of beveritt


3.6/5  rDev -1.9%

Presentation: Received a 4 pack of this along with a logoed snifter from my sister for my birthday. Apparently my passions are well know, she always gets me something alcoholic or alcohol related. Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into small logoed snifter. Label is simple, the end of a barrel with a short description and the tag of "Official beer of the Alltech FEI." No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with some almost white foam, but no appreciable head. What does show up disappears quickly. The beer itself is perfectly clear and the color of burnished copper.

Smell: Aroma of bourbon, vanilla, and oak with undertones of slightly sweet caramel malt.

Taste: Once again, flavors of bourbon; cherries, oak, and a slightly sweet chocolate undertone. Subtle flavors become more pronounced as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation level is average, maybe a tad low. Body is good.

Drinkability: I thought I might not like this one, probably the only bourbon barrel aged beer I can see through, and I am not a huge fan of boozy bourbon beers. However, they have done a nice job of capturing the flavor of bourbon without the bite.

12-06-2009 22:06:46 | More by beveritt
Photo of DrFunkenstein


3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

11-22-2012 13:28:29 | More by DrFunkenstein
Photo of JakerLou

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

05-23-2014 00:35:58 | More by JakerLou
Photo of cbl2

New York

3.33/5  rDev -9.3%

8/23/2006 $12.00 4 pack purchased at Roof Brothers in Paducah KY. No best by date.


Pours a radiantly clear orange that is tinged with hints of peach topped by a quarter inch of white foam that rapidly settles.


They weren't joking when they said aged in bourbon barrels, as the bourbon shines through here along with notes of toffee, buttered popcorn and peat.


Very odd diacetyl and fusel alcohol up front, with the long lingering presence of kettle corn in the background. Vanilla and oak are apparent throughout, imparted by the wood contact.

Bourbon has always been my father's drink, and I've never gotten a taste for it, but I figured while I was out visiting my grandmother in Kentucky, I'd try what the locals drink (though in beer form). It's interesting, but I still am not a bourbon fan, which is perhaps why I knocked a few points off the drinkability and taste.

08-24-2006 02:28:07 | More by cbl2
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +14.4%

12 oz bottle poured into a Hoegaarden glass.

Appearance - Pours a good amber color. frothy head that sticks around for a bit. good carbonation. no lacing

Smell - Strong hop right away followed by butter and whiskey notes.

Taste - A good comibination of hops and whiskey. Slightly grainy and small notes of butter. Light body

Mouthfeel - All of the flavors mix well, and the whiskey notes stick around with the grain flavor. I really like this beer!

03-17-2011 14:09:54 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of yamar68


1.38/5  rDev -62.4%

Pours an awkwardly transparent caramel gold with a thin finger of white head that is just as awkward - dissipates quickly, showing more fizz than true carbonation. No real lacing but a touch of alcohol legging.

Have you ever had Kentucky Beau? It sort of smells like that... grainy alcohol character smothered with a "bourbon" aroma... vanilla syrup and faint brown sugar.

Watery cheap bourbon with a vanilla/caramel sweetness. It finishes with a weird sweet corn type mellowness... the fact that it's as thin as a Bud Select 55 doesn't really do us any favors.

How is this a viable beer to produce? Did we all just get punk'd? What is this world coming to?

01-30-2013 07:51:00 | More by yamar68
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

3.71/5  rDev +1.1%

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 07/17/13 on the neck.

A: Pours a clear golden with a 1 finger mostly white head. A bit of visible carbonation. Leaves some spots of lacing.

S: Bourbon and malt notes right off the bat. A sweetness to it, hints of vanilla and oak.

T: Reminds me of a more mainstream beer with a healthy dose of bourbon. Doesnt blow you away with the complexity yet is a good flavor.

M: Light to medium body with lowish carbonation. A touch of stickiness but not too bad. Seems a touch watery.

Overall its not offensive and would be a good intro to bourbon barrel beers. Give it a go if you can pickup a single.

05-31-2013 00:35:13 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of ONUMello


3.73/5  rDev +1.6%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Orange-amber color with a one-finger head that thinned quickly
S: Fairly nondescript overall, though malt and the toasted bourbon aromas do come through.
T: Sweet, with tons of vanilla and bourbon. Malty; hardly anything hoppy comes across.
M: Medium-bodied, smooth and a bit sticky from the sweetness.
O: Tasty for sure, though I'd prefer a little less sweetness and a little more complexity.

02-02-2012 00:50:33 | More by ONUMello
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,891 ratings.