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

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel AleKentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

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

1,583 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1583
Reviews: 479
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 17.98%


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)
View: Beers (14) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,583 | Reviews: 479 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BrownAleMale
BrownAleMale

Wisconsin

3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Horny Goat pint glass.

Appearance- A yellow orange and red tint to the beer with a very small amount of white head that fully dissipates. Lots of carbonation bubbles.

Smell- Burbon and lots of sweet and sour fruits. Some sweet carmel malt notes too.

Taste- Bourbon begining with a sour hop middle and the big bourbon comes back for the finish. Honestly I am a Jameson on the rocks drinker and this tastes a lot like that. A watered down whiskey.

Mouthfeel- Very watery

Overall- Basically if you are a whiskey fan you will probably enjoy this since it tastes like whiskey on the rocks. For what it is, it misses the mark. Do I enjoy it? Yes!

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 21:39:49 | More by BrownAleMale
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very beautiful beer, light brown colored, with amazing clarity. The bubbles of carbonation stream upward in numerous lines, supporting a half inch thick off-white foam with excellent retention. Nose is straightforward bourbon, with vanilla notes and sort of a nutty malt character.

The flavor is rather unsweetened and a bit dry with toasty oak and vanilla notes, and yet more nuttiness, almost like almonds. It's suprisingly not overpowering, but something is a bit off here. Perhaps it's a bit too one dimesional, I think it actually needs a bit more kick. The finish is dry and without much depth, it could use a little more bitterness or even some heat to round things out. Mouthfeel is a bit light, carbonation softer than it would appear.

Not as bad as I was expecting, but not good either really. This beer is more of a novelty, probably to entice whisky fans into trying a bourbon-esque brew that will suit their tastes. Hardcore beer fans will likely pass on this one as the beer itself lacks complexity.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2012 05:54:52 | More by bennetj17
Photo of GrumpyGas
GrumpyGas

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 10 ounce brandy style glass, the ruddy amber colored nectar was every bit bourbon, despite a lack of odor. I was surprised by the missing sense and tried to determine if there were other contributors to my inability to detect (nearby food, smoke, or perfume) and found none of them either. I think I was so expecting to smell bourbon and alcohol that without either I missed the more subtle malt odor I later tasted.

Regardless, the first, and predictable, flavor was bourbon, followed by a strong alcohol taste. Given the name and the abv, I expected this and was not disappointed. As a liquid, the Bourbon Barrel Ale is very drinkable. It is smooth and without any aftertaste, a clean finish and mouthfeel.

The remainder of the pour was less bourbon/alcohol and more red ale malt, which I prefer. All it really needed was a cigar.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2012 04:03:28 | More by GrumpyGas
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: medium gold body, finger of head

S: bourbon is predominant, secondary malty caramel and vanilla

T: nice malt character enhanced by bourbon, vanilla, and oak

M: thin on the palate, mild carbonation, no aftertaste

O: reminiscent of Innis & Gunn beers, but with a slightly denser character and more sweetness - I personally prefer this to them - a decent drink, worth the try, but probably not something I'd return to

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2012 16:57:50 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of SGDJosh
SGDJosh


2.93/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On draft at Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop on 9/14:

A - New penny copper in color with very little head. What head was there has dissipated quickly leaving a soft lace on top.

S - Bourbon, burnt sugar, malts.

T - Sweet oak, lots of vanilla and little hint of chocolate. Tastes like a cheap Bourbon to me...

M - Light-Medium Body, carbonation is nice but it doesn't carry the alcohol well.

O - Not a great combination of body, flavor, and booze. It's sweet but doesn't hide the alcohol with such a light body. Just not my thing.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2012 14:30:36 | More by SGDJosh
Photo of zeledonia
zeledonia

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this in a BIF, along with a matching snifter. My only glass specific to a single beer, so I've gotta use it. Tasted 2 September 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a very clear, pale golden-orange. Half-finger of whitish head, not much lacing. OK.

Smells like whiskey. Really, that's all I get from it. But that's what it's supposed to smell like, so I'm fairly impressed. Not much beer character at all.

Tastes like watered-down whiskey. I get some grainy flavors up-front, but it's a whole lot like a shot of whiskey with water. Interesting. There's no sharpness at all, no alcohol bite, no burn. It's like they pulled just the flavor out, and somehow made the beer taste like that.

Mouthfeel is fine. Watery, with medium-low carbonation.

The thing that amazes me about this beer is how they seem to have pulled all the flavor, the essence, or bourbon out, without the alcohol or the sharp edges. Probably the mellowest bourbon-forward beer I've ever had. Unusual, and quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2012 03:08:26 | More by zeledonia
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not bad, but a bit too oaky and sweet. Pours amber with very little head, Smells sweet and oaky with a bourbon nose of brown sugar, vanilla, and oak. Simple, and a bit sweet, but not bad. Similar taste, with the same notes in the nose, but it feels a bit more washed out and fades toward the end. Right at the finish, there is a fairly bit hit of vanilla. Overall, although there are indeed Bourbon flavors here, it's not any Bourbon I'd ever drink- far too one dimensional and lacks subtlety, yet at the same time is a bit washed out and lacks punch, substituting oaky sweetness instead. Just okay.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 02:26:07 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of brureview
brureview

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Doherty's in Pawtucket, RI. The served beer had a light honey color and poured a 1/2 finger head.

Carbonation bubbles streamed upwards from the bottom of the glass.

The beer smells like bourbon, and tastes like bourbon with vanilla overtones.

This is a special treat, and it doesn't taste like beer- it tastes like whiskey. A bit overwhelming, but worth drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2012 01:32:33 | More by brureview
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
cindyjeffsmith

Georgia

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: mostly clear, somewhere between straw and golden. The full creamy off white saves it.
Smell: Oak and vanilla, brown sugar, and bourbon, but fairly tame, not as rich as all those flavors would suggest.
Taste: matches the nose.
Overall: very nice. I still prefer the monsters but this is a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2012 00:02:16 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful clear coppery amber with a thick and rather persistent fluffy ivory head. Malty aroma has a strong, oaky overtone of bourbon barrel and a hint of caramel. Bourbon and oak dominate the flavor, but not too much, letting through malty and subtle fruity notes plus a caramel hint. Firm texture has OK fizz and leaves a nice bourbon-barrel finish. I hope that this is a year-round beer and not a one-and-done special.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2012 21:21:31 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this beer at the midwest brew fest. The beer poured a copperish color with a minimial head. Smells like whiskey rather than beer. Taste like a combination of bourbon and beer which I find unique. Went down smooth as beer and with a hint of whiskey. Overall a good beer for those who like bourbon.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2012 00:12:59 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1473rd Review on BA
Bottle to Great Lakes Snifter
12oz

2012 Vintage

Thanks to EgadBananas for the trade

App- Was really suprised at the coloring of this beer. Was more of a golden color and was expecting a deeper brown/crimson color. The head was a quick receding off white with maybe 2 dots of cling.

Smell- Incredible bourbon notes. Char, vanilla, oak and malts. The beer is as close to pure bourbon I have smelled on a -BA beer before. Floral and pleasant to say the least.

Taste- It's a very tasty beer. Lots going on but blended well. Malty and smooth with a rich vanilla flavor and a little bit of oak on the back end. Not overly boozy but you get a lot of the bourbon notes to it.

Mouth- A thinner medium body with a low/medium carbonation. Residual spicey boozey flavor with hints of vanilla.

Drink- A good beer. Very barrel and booze forward. I really enjoyed it. I bet this would be a good one for aging.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2012 01:59:07 | More by FosterJM
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Surprisingly clear orange brown body. Fine white head with low retention and ok lace.

S - Super sweet with brown sugar and yellow raisin, slightly boozy, lots of vanilla, touch of wet oak.

T - Vanilla ice cream, cream soda, and bourbon complete with vanilla and an edge of oak. Touch watery.

M - Light frame, especially for the style. Low on carbonation.

O - The sweetness is definitely off balance, but when you sit back and work through flavors it tastes like a bourbon ice cream float, and at face value that's a pretty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2012 23:09:00 | More by vfgccp
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Harrigan’s Tavern, Dayton, OH

A: The beer is crystal clear light amber in color. It poured with a thin head on the surface that left some lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderate to strong aromas of bourbon in the nose; the smell intensifies as the beer warms up.
T: Similar to the smell, the bourbon barrel aging really stands out in the taste, imparting flavors of bourbon and vanilla along with hints of oak. The vanilla becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The bourbon is nicely incorporated into this beer and doesn’t really add alcohol heat. I enjoyed this because the bourbon is very evident but not overpowering.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2012 14:35:22 | More by metter98
Photo of TwelveOunces
TwelveOunces

Kentucky

3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap into a plastic cup

This beer pours a hazy amber orange with not much head to speak of. This beer is unlike any other, its more along the lines of carbonated Bourbon. The taste has woody notes, there is some vanilla, and spiciness. This beer tricks you into thinking it tastes like alcohol but there's not much alcohol taste. The flavor of this beer is Bourbon, it tastes like carbonated Bourbon without the alcohol. It's certainly a different beer experience. If you are a bourbon fan and not much of a beer drinker, give this a go, it's worth trying just for the novelty of it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2012 17:35:17 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of DCon
DCon

Missouri

3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on-tap @ Coles 735 MAIN in Lexington, KY for $6. Tapped from the Brown Wooden KBB Tap Handle w/ a Horse on the top into a 12oz Snifter Glass. Have enjoyed in bottle so wanted to give this version a try.

Differences:
Aroma- Tons of alcohol, bourbon, light single malt aromas. Very clean.

Appearance- Received with no head at all. Has a deep golden/light copper body with decent clarity. Leaves a few suds behind.

Flavor- Starts off very sweet and then winds down to all malt and light bourbon. Very light and almost no bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Smooth, but VERY watered down... Not sure if there was a keg issue or just the way they do it in keg but mouthfeel wasn't up to par.

Overall Impression- I HIGHLY recommend you enjoying this from a bottle. For some reason it was watered down on the mouthfeel which took away from this great brew. However, this was very nice in bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2012 13:41:33 | More by DCon
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz, 9/11 bottle date
Boulevard tulip

A: Pours out a clear muted orange color. Even though I didn't get a ton of head (only a ring of white), I did get a lot of tiny bubbles steaming from the bottom. Leaves some lacing. Definitely see some alcohol feet.

S: Immediately I get caramel and sweet malt. It's almost BA barleywine like initially. I get some vanilla too. Bourbon is present. The age might have killed some hops off.

T: You don't get a lot of bitterness up front anymore, but there is a touch. Sweet malts: caramel and toffee. It's very barleywine like without the body. Vanilla hints in the mid mouth. Some woodiness. The finish is creamy.

M: It's medium bodied. Creamy almost.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2012 12:58:14 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of Lemke10
Lemke10

Wisconsin

4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I tried this on-tap at Conway and O’Rielly’s in Janesville, WI in mid 2012. Pours a golden amber color with a strong bourbon scent. Strong crisp taste of bourbon that is silky smooth that is barrel aged to perfection. I thought this was a lot better than what the ratings reflect.

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2012 20:10:29 | More by Lemke10
Photo of rfbenavi80
rfbenavi80

Missouri

3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed with a friend.
Bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a deep golden color with 2 fingers of white creamy looking head that dissipates moderately slow, leaving virtually no lacing, but does create a ring around the edge.

S- Smells of sweet oak, mixed with vanilla and charcoal. Not as bourbon forward as I want it to be.

T- Definitely a unique tasting beer. Toasty vanilla bourbon flavors are there, however it tastes very young and unrefined.

M- Medium light body, with a light amount of carbonation.

O- Disappointed, because I've definitely had better barrel aged beers. The Kentucky name in leads me to believe the bourbon taste and aroma would be front and center, however its not.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2012 10:35:55 | More by rfbenavi80
Photo of Schmuckles
Schmuckles

Rhode Island

3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Has nice color and decent aroma. Sweet with lots of bourbon flavor. I didn't like at first but got better with cheese curls which blended nicely with the flavor or at least muted what i didn't like. Bourbon flavor to strong for me as well as a bit to sweet.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 03:00:08 | More by Schmuckles
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic

Florida

3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Medium gold color, and very, very clear. One finger's worth of white head, and lots of visible carbonation.

S: Bourbon, vanilla, charcoal, caramel malt.

T: Follows the nose - very bourbon forward, but with nice woody flavors and a caramel sweetness.

M: Thin thin mouthfeel. Nice carbonation on the tongue. Not overly hot even with the bourbon flavors.

O: This one is different, interesting, but ultimately not great. I feel like it's a bourbon-aged non-hoppy pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2012 23:32:40 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of welldigger888
welldigger888

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured an amber hue with a nice snow white head that leaves ample lacing.

Seems to be an average ale in aroma with just a kiss off barrel aging.

The vanilla woodsy bourbon comes through well in the flavor.

Nice and creamy that plays well with all the bourbon.

A nice well done brew.

Serving type: growler

07-19-2012 00:29:20 | More by welldigger888
Photo of eclipse54
eclipse54

Minnesota

3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 12 ounce bottle picked up at Casanova on my New Glarus run. Saw it sitting there and figured I'd give it a shot. Poured into a DFH signature glass.

The body is much lighter than expected, being more of a golden wheat color with some reddish, copper hues. It's very transluscent and only develops a thin, quarter-inch layer of eggshell white head. Minimal retention and lacing, but there is an ever present pillow of bubbles streaming up the center of the glass and billowing out on the surface. Still, I would not have guessed this was a barrel aged strong ale by looking at it (maybe an IPA?).

Aroma is of bourbon and not much else. Maybe some brown sugar or caramel, maybe. A bit offputting, and here's to hoping that it tastes better than it smells.

And it does, tasting of bourbon, some vanilla and toffee, a bit of oak and caramel, some brown sugar, and a hefty dose of ethanol. Surprisingly, it's not too bad once you get past the dominating bourbon.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky and resinous, and it finishes pretty dry. Prominent alcohol burn on the finish.

Overall, this isn't one I'll be revisiting anytime soon. The bourbon is just way too pronounced for me. It really seems like you could have recreated this by just adding bourbon as opposed to barrel aging. Perhaps it will mellow out a bit with some time, but I'm not going to be the one to find out.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 19:50:53 | More by eclipse54
Photo of NuclearDolphin
NuclearDolphin

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sniffer

Appearance - Dark orange with a hazy appearance; good lacing on the side

Smell - Vanilla, Oak, Whisky, Scotch, Malts, and toffee. It's like smelling an actual bottle of bourbon with a slightly more vanilla scent

Taste - Vanilla, Oak, Whisky, Scotch, Toffee, Malts and Yeast. While it still tastes great, the flavors all come off as a bit underwhelming despite the complexity.

Mouthfeel - Crisp and light with some moderate carbonation. It feels great and refreshing but it would feel much better if it had a creamy texture to it

Overall - As a bourbon ale, it's good but it feels a bit underwhelming for what it is. That doesn't mean that it's a bad beer, far from it! For a beer in general, it's pretty damn good.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2012 02:38:44 | More by NuclearDolphin
Photo of Chaz
Chaz

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant brass in color, exhibiting average amount of carbonation. The beer is topped with a two-fingered, lighter tan head (more off-white) which falls rather quickly and leaves a ring of foamy lace and thin film on top.

Nose offers vanilla and sort of an indeterminate malty fruitiness. On second guess, the bourbon aspect is full and there's even some boozy character. There's an almost tropical sensibility on the nose -- tropical fruit and rum with vanilla? It's a little odd, and much different than what I was expecting...

Sweet and full of the bourbon barrel character on the first sip. Equal parts warming alcohol and vanilla overtones, along with the tropical fruit aspect present in the malt character on the nose, and WOW! Am I tasting coconut, or am I just imagining it?

Mouthfeel is a little fuller than I'd expect (and the barrel treatment always seems to thin any beer style), but it's really sort of an average mouthfeel, and the carbonation actually seems lighter on the palate than it "looked" streaming from the bottom of the glass...

Overall this is a quirky drink. It's no carbon copy barrel-aged anything, and is instead unique enough to seek out insofar as the flavor is concerned. Frankly --and though I'm sure it isn't to everyone's liking-- as a fan of shmaltzy Tiki drinks I might seek to buy this one by the case!

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2012 00:12:12 | More by Chaz
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,583 ratings.