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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
83
good

2,372 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,372
Reviews: 576
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 18.48%
Wants: 126
Gots: 543 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,372 | Reviews: 576
Photo of DrFunkenstein
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of bmoney
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of jsurfs82
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of RBorsato
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of GRE680
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of shand
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've got to say, I was excited to see this one come to Florida. I've heard about it being an unbalanced bourbon bomb, but I've enjoyed other beers of a similar nature like Twisted Pine's Reilly's Oak Whiskey Red, so I'm hoping this one will be to my liking as well. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale pours much lighter than I expected, a pretty clear orange color with a small head. The aroma hits right away with vanilla and oak, with sweet malts, grains, and a distinct boozy note. The taste is rather remarkable in that it really tastes quite like a bourbon without the burn. Not a great bourbon, but a surely passable one. Kinda like an Evan Williams kind of thing going on, if you dig. It's got vanilla and oak from the barrel as well. Very unique in the sheer force of flavor going on - there's absolutely nothing here but bourbon and barrel. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, lightly carbonated, and slick. Works well with the bourbon feel. The drinkability is pretty solid. Overall, I like this beer. It works as almost a "session bourbon", if you will.

Photo of Burns9812
5/5  rDev +35.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Skuter for sharing this one at his UCLA vs. USC viewing party.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy orange-tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, bourbon, wood, and a distinct funky aroma. Taste is much the same but no funk comes through in the flavor. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer that is a pretty poor example of a barrel aged beer.

Photo of ejimhof
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of lisahope27
2/5  rDev -45.7%

Photo of Atelidae
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of IcarusComplex
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Alright, I need to get back to reviewing before I start to lose the vocabulary for it...I haven't posted my 300+ beer journal notes to the site yet(which I stopped taking, being well past 800 tastings now), and I've never had a laptop on hand at the exact moment I'm tasting a brew. First time for everything right? So here we go: Tasted at Riverside Market Cafe in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. From bottle to Guinness-style pint glass.

Appearance: Even an aggressive pour fails to produce any head, just spatterings of fine white mist, with a constant outer ring that displays subdued, champagne-like activity. Visible carbonation remains steady and slow along glass's edges, none at the center of the brew. Absolutely no lacing, but almost displays legs if stirred, though it lacks the colour to make it prominent. The colour is actually quite nice, a highly refined clarity with a brilliant gold as its base that picks up lively orange and deeper, woodier amber shades in varying light.

Scent: A bit lacking, for what was expected. Grows with warming, but not significantly enough; it makes you hunt hard for every note. White bread and caramel malts, alcohol, sweet cream corn, oaky vanilla notes, fizzy watery lager scent is too prominent, and there is a long last bit of boozy esters, almost more brandy-like than bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Pretty decent. Light to-medium, perhaps leaning more into medium with warming. Some slight viscosity, just enough to coat the tongue, and a small amount of creaminess along the tongue's edges and mouth's roof. Carbonation feels lazy and lifeless, however. Has the rare character of actually dimishing in mouthfeel as it warms, rather than gaining richness. Very strange.

Flavour: Okay, this department is a bit of a mess, but a mess with major potential. Unfortunately, as of current this beer is wholly dominated by a decadent and entirely unrepeatable buttercream taste. Buttercream and sweet cream of corn, and artificial tasting, Mexican-brand vanilla extract, a high fructose corn syrup backing, mountain-region American lager taste, mediocre amber ale notes....really, corn and sugars are all over the place. I would guess this beer contains a significant amount of corn grit in the mash, alongside being aged in bourbon barrels that previously contained a tipple that was highly corn-heavy. Also, not sure what kind of char those barrels boasted, but I'm guessing it wasn't too dark, because this has none of the desired, earthy wood edge to its taste that you would look for in bourbons of bold character. Just this light-toasted vanilla aspect that feels forcibly inserted. Almost no boozy bite though. The diacetyl-like, heavy butter essence ensures that, but in the most vulgar of ways. It's a shame, too, because in controlled amounts all of these flavour elements could be highly desireable. The finish is longer than you'd like it to be, and continues on a cream and sugar note rather than anything involving hops, dryness or booze.

Overall: This is an okay beer to give a spin if you're a bourbon nut or an oak-aging nut, BUT with a caveat: try it knowing it is an extreme example of results of the style, and expect that you may not enjoy it enough to finish it. If you go in with that expectation, and find it at a fair price, you can forgive yourself for the possible drainpour and still feel like you overall benefited from the experience. It has certainly expanded my understanding of what bourbon aging can do to a beer. I just won't likely be having it again, unless it's with rosemary rotisserie chicken and mash. With the right food this could actually complement quite well. Hell, this may even be a fun craft brew to go full-taboo with and drop a shot of woody, smoky, harsh bourbon in to balance the flavour and imbalance your sobriety. However you try it, do it responsibly! Cheers!

Photo of Theniz
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of TastyAdventure
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of Slikpitt
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of JRBecks
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of archi348
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of illini4x4
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a small snifter. Off-white head, moderate retention on a light amber body. Aroma is mainly caramel malt and whisky. Taste is sweet with malts with a slight vanilla flavor, very faint bitterness. I actually expected a let down after seeing the beer but is actually pretty excellent the way the whisky has rounded out this beer and made it way too easy to drink considering the abv.

Photo of jdkitchi
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured an amber color with a good size head from a hard pour. The head disappeared fairly quickly and left little lacing. This looks like an amber ale.

I got a definite bourbon smell and amber ale smell.

The taste is of bourbon and alcohol on top of a typical amber ale and gets a little sweeter and more alcoholic as it warms. The mouth feel is light.

Overall this isn't a bad beer. This is a light style of beer with bourbon barrel aging. The barrel aging really is pronounced because of this and makes this a pretty enjoyable brew. The 8% ABV helps too.

Photo of AmitC
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of rderedin
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of AR_Rios
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%

Photo of whodeyvols
3/5  rDev -18.5%

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Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from Alltech's Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,372 ratings.