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.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,965 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,965
Reviews: 507
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 18.26%
Wants: 88
Gots: 278 | FT: 4
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: 1,965 | Reviews: 507 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tsulli
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

tsulli, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of GoldHorde
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

GoldHorde, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of rmalinowski4
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

rmalinowski4, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of MichaelBurns
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

MichaelBurns, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of nickapalooza86
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to my little brother for picking this up in Ohio on his trip.

Pours a clear goldish amber.

Smell is very one note bourbon in front, middle and back.

Taste is the same bourbon all the way with a hint of vanilla and oak.

Mouthfeel is very thin, to thin for a beer of this alchol imo.

It is not bad, I will drink it all. It is just to one note for me. I know some bourbon lovers might like this but if so, why not just drink strait bourbon??

nickapalooza86, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of lumpy1126
3/5  rDev -18.3%

lumpy1126, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of Falynn
5/5  rDev +36.2%

Falynn, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of EagleTalon
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

EagleTalon, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of innersanctum
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best bourbon aged beer that I've had thus far! Having started my journey with the Goose Island Bourbon County Stout this is a tall order. KBBA is an extremely drinkable and likeable ale.

The only element this brew lacked was its aroma, which took some time to open up and share some vanilla notes. The taste has a nice blend of oak and vanilla which is picked up nicely from the barrels. I could not discern the specific type of ale which this brewe is from but it does not have a hoppy presence. Its mouthfeel is smooth and consistent and about as heavy as Champagne while lacking the carbonation.

innersanctum, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of donunrue
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

donunrue, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of n2185
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear orange-gold with three fingers of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: Caramel malts and vanilla on the nose along with some DMS, giving it a bit of a steamed veggie aroma. There are light oak notes under the vanilla.

T: Similar to the aroma, caramel malts and vanilla dominate the flavor profile. There are some slight oak and bourbon notes toward the finish, which is clean and slightly bready.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer is pretty lively in the mouth, which along with the vanilla flavors is reminiscent of a cream soda.

O: An alright beer, overall. Nothing special, and the bourbon notes are nearly undetectable outside of a strong vanilla presence. Still, I've spent more money on worse barrel aged beers.

n2185, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of JustinWhipple
4/5  rDev +9%

JustinWhipple, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of Zachb4au
4.75/5  rDev +29.4%

Zachb4au, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of fmccormi
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Straight pour from 12oz pry-off bottle to my Double Bastard tumbler glass. Seemed appropriate for the beer, and I think it works! Bottling date might be printed on the underside of the bottle, but it’s hard to tell. If I’m reading it right, this was bottled on August 19, 2011 (“1231 73E0831”).

Appearance (4.0): One and a half fingers of off-white head (pretty tight foam) fades relatively quickly to a haze on the top and a sudsy ring all around the glass as it dissipates. Body is a just-barely-hazy, rich golden color. Kind of looks like apple juice. Even so, it’s actually a pretty good-looking beer!

Smell (3.0): Mainly bourbon. Not an overpowering, nostril-searing, boozy kind of scent, but the mix of smooth vanilla and buttery oak that comes with bourbon. There’s a bit of booze, too, but not a ton. Nice bourbon scent, but not a lot else going on here.

Taste (3.0): Again, bourbon. But once again, not the harsh booze of bourbon, so much as the vanilla and buttery oak character. Finishes with an almost tart fruitiness, like green apples. There’s booze on the palate, but it’s not from the 8.19% ABV—it’s from the bourbon barrel. Again, not particularly strong or harsh, but it doesn’t feel like it’s “naturally” part of the beer, so to speak. I’m not complaining. This is decent, for sure. To be honest, it tastes like a light ale brewed with only plain-Jane, biscuity pilsner malt, and not a ton of it at that. Hops, I have no idea where they are—a faint grassiness in the finish maybe, but that’s it. Tastes like a very simple, golden ale aged in bourbon barrels.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Pretty nice mouthfeel, actually. Tingles all over the tongue and foams nicely going down. On the light side of medium, and easy-drinking. Pretty dry finish.

Overall (3.5): This is an interesting beer. It looks like apple juice and even tastes kind of like apple juice (but not as sweet, and aged in bourbon barrels). So, unsweetened, bourbon barrel-aged apple juice. It’s an alright beer. Think of it as a simple golden ale destined to carry the bourbon character in a clear and straightforward manner. Definitely drink it on the warmer side, drinking it cold does it no favors.

fmccormi, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of Cheezus
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Cheezus, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of Chisfinest84
4/5  rDev +9%

Chisfinest84, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of BaneyQ
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

BaneyQ, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of buddyvelt
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

buddyvelt, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of mgroothuis
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

mgroothuis, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Buschyfor3
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Buschyfor3, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Cris4545
5/5  rDev +36.2%

Cris4545, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of robo90124
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

robo90124, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of neckbracesub
4/5  rDev +9%

neckbracesub, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of Greggory
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Greggory, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of Lynn
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Lynn, Mar 01, 2012
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,965 ratings.